You hear it all the time. You tell your daughter she looks nice and she says “whatever”. You tell
your teenage son to be home by 9:00 because it’s a school night and he says “whatever”. You
say something they don’t agree with (which is most things) and they say whatever”. Sometimes
it seems the only word they know is “whatever”.
I’m not sure how that word got so imbedded in our “communications” these days, but it
grates on me to hear it. It’s rude, dismissive, passive aggressive and if I had said that to my
mother I’d still be rolling. So why is it so pervasive? How did one word get so big in the English
language that it is used to convey a multitude of vague noncommittal responses? What used to
be short for “whatever you say”, indicating compliance or at least acknowledgement, now
means “I don’t care what you say”.
Humor me here, but I just have a hunch that it’s tied somehow to the shift in attitudes that
comes with the end times. We have a whole generation of kids who have been taught they
“evolved” basically from pond scum. Somehow that makes life seem so cheap and certainly
not miraculous, so there’s little wonder why they have no respect for themselves or anyone
else. They’ve also been told there’s nothing after this, that when you die you just die…nothing
more. So what’s the use, if there’s nothing after this? It all smacks of an unspoken futility.
To me, when I hear someone respond with “whatever”, aside from the apparent rudeness, it
feels like somewhere in there there’s a plea…. almost as if they’re saying, “I’m afraid to tell you
what I think or want” or maybe just “I’m afraid”. Maybe it’s “Please, try harder to draw me
out. I’m suffocating in my own thoughts.” Maybe it means, “I’m so disinterested in this life, it’s
not worth moving my lips to speak.” What a sad, sad thought. Maybe it’s just a big fat question
that the only answer to is, “Yes, I love you.”
I know it seems like a strange topic to talk about at Christmas time, but during these dark,
uncertain days I think it’s necessary to remind the world that Jesus was sent here as a baby in a
manger…..born already a King…to grow and live among people just like you and me, to
experience what we experience…to know rejection and heartache, loneliness and betrayal. He
came with a purpose and that purpose was you.
The good news is He knows all about your whatevers. So whatever your questions, whatever
your doubts, whatever your fears, whatever your pain, whatever your grief or anguish,
whatever is holding you back, whatever your sin, whatever you need…He is the God of
whatever that this whatever generation needs.