I got this picture at the library. They’ve recently started making books available online and created a small business card to advertise this feature. Presumably, the elderly woman with the headphones is listening to an MP3 book she downloaded from the Forsyth Public Library. Every time I go to get books I have the same conversation with whomever is working the desk:
“Can you please tell me what book this lady is listening to?”
“No, I’m afraid not. Why do you want to know?”
“She just looks really happy. It must be some sort of amazing book. I too would like to be that happy.”
Frustrated pause “I wish you were illiterate.”
It’s a fun little game we play, but the neon enjoyment of the woman on that card reminds me of how we sometimes describe the activities or programs our churches offer. Especially when it comes to our aggressive use of exclamation points. I hold exclamation points tight to the chest like little treasures. Honestly, if your house were on fire, I would probably say to you, “Hey, your house is on fire.” But here are a few direct quotes from a church brochure I picked up tonight describing their ministries:
- Tons of fun!
- Meaningful friendships!
- Incredible worship!
- Perfect for college students, graduates & professionals!
- Single doesn’t have to mean alone. (Sorry singles, apparently you don’t get to be excited.)
Does an over abundance of exclamation points make that big of a difference? Not really, but here’s the thing: When someone tells you, “It will be a cool party, seriously it will be cool,” the first thing you think in your head is “This party is going to stink.” And it’s the same thing with church. If they scream how fun something is going to be it starts to feel a little forced or manufactured. Just be fun. Just be interesting. Just leave the exclamation points at home.