Hallowed Be No More

I was just watching a little March Madness on television and saw a commercial for the upcoming Masters golf tournament.  The narrator, Jim Nance, I believe, spoke of the “hallowed ground” at Augusta.  It brought to mind a thought that has crossed my mind more than a few times in recent years.  We, the modern society of America, have no real idea of what words like “hallowed” mean.

Just as the word “awesome” has become so grossly over-used that it bears very little resemblance to what it meant 30 years ago, “hallowed” has seemingly lost its effect.  I dare say there’s not a kid under the age of 10 who could effectively and accurately define what “awe” means.  The same goes for “hallowed”.  They will only think they know, because they have seen Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.

It is often asked, “Is nothing sacred?”  Sadly, no, not really.  Not for most people.  Most kids are being raised with a healthy respect for nothing but themselves.  And while it is very important to instill self-respect within a child, it is equally, if not more important to instill within a child reverential respect for something greater than them – greater than this world.

I am reminded of a Contemporary Christian song by MercyMe called, “I Can Only Imagine”.  The song is describing the scene when the narrating Christian sees Jesus in Heaven.  Among the many questions asked in the song is, “Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall?”  I have to ask myself, do I truly have even the slightest concept of the power, awe, and reverence for anything that it would take for me to simply fall to my knees in humility?  Our culture is so engrossed with fighting for your rights and rising from your knees – and there are times for those things – but there are also times for admitting that the world does not revolve around you.

Seriously, what or who would cause your tongue to fail you, and your head to bow as you fall to your knees out of fear, respect, humility, and awe?  A celebrity?  Michael Jordan?  Justin Beiber?  Bono?  Certainly not a politician, as they all become the target of accusations and disrespect the moment they are elected.  The Pope?  A huge, amazingly and ornately decorated 200-year-old cathedral?  Niagara Falls?  The Grand Canyon?  An Angel, perhaps, of the kind that the shepherds saw in the story of Jesus’ birth?  Anything?

I can think of very few things that are of this world that have that effect on me.  I don’t even really know where I’m going with this except to say that it is sad to me that things like humility, and reverence, and awe, and hallowed-ness, and even respect are becoming a lost art.  The bravado of youth can only get you so far in life.

If you do a Google image search using the phrase “hallowed ground”, what do you think you will see?  How about 90% basketball shoes,  multiple horror movies, an album by the Violent Femmes, and a handful of book covers ranging from golf to Gettysburg to Arlington National Cemetery?  Obviously, those last two come the closest to accurately representing modern-day hallowed ground.  Sadly, apart from a horror film or cemetery cross here and there, there was not a single image depicting anything pertaining to faith or religion.  The reason I say “sadly” is that “hallowed” actually means “to honor as holy”, and “holy” has its roots planted firmly in faith and religion.  Sometimes change is not good.

Basketball shoes?  Really?  How sad.

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~ by suitenectar on March 11, 2011.

2 Responses to “Hallowed Be No More”

  1. Ah, Marcus, well said. Very well said.

  2. Much agreed.

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