First of all it must be said: I am a unabashed nerd. My palate is broad and varied and I like many genres of entertainment but in my heart I am a total nerd.
One 360° pan around my office reveals everything from a Batmobile hot wheel, to a Cylon figurine and miniature-stuffed Wall-E toy. I’ve got a Darth Vader potato head next to a full-sized World Heavyweight Championship wrestling belt (with genuine leather strap). I’ve got a Star Wars. wall calendar. You should see some of the books on my shelves. And that’s just my office.
I reek of geek, let’s just leave it there.
Of all my geek obsessions, Star Trek is my true favorite. Even if you’ve never seen a single episode of any of the multiple TV shows, it’s likely you are at least familiar with the motto of the show: “To boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Now any grammar student worth his salt can tell you there is a clear mistake made in that expression. When you put the preposition “to” alongside a verb (such as “go”) it becomes an “infinitive” (technically it’s a “full infinitive” as opposed to a “bare infinitive” which is an infinitive without any clothes on, BUT LET’S NOT QUIBBLE).
According to the never changing, never bending, no exceptions ever rules of grammar (I kid), you’re not supposed “split” your infinitive by putting a word between the preposition and the verb. You can say “going boldly,” but you can’t say “to boldly go.” You’d have to say “boldly to go…” which unfortunately just doesn’t have the pizazz you need when launching your 23rd century space program.
Anyway, that got me thinking: Christians, like the Starship Enterprise in space, need to “boldly go” out into the world…
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
But let’s not stop there. As long as we’re splitting infinitives, how about:
To consistently pray…
Pray without ceasing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:17)
It’s one of the shortest verses in the Bible, yet it is one of the most important commands. We should be a praying people. We should never look back on our lives and recall a time when we did not regularly and routinely offer up our needs and thanks to God in Heaven.
To reliably give…
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Do you rely on God? It’s easy to say it, but God asks us to put our money where our mouths are. If I rely on Him I should show it in my giving. Why? Does God need my money? Nope. the congregation to which you give does, of course, but God personally doesn’t need money. He doesn’t need anything. He does, however, demand certain things of us. And He demands us to rely on Him.
To frequently examine…
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Your translation may vary here, but I love the way the King James puts it: “Walk circumspectly.” In other words constantly examine yourself from all angles. It’s easy for us to have blind spots to our own shortcomings and often, the very complaints we have about other people are flaws we likewise exhibit. Paul tells us to walk the Christian walk while always examining ourselves, making sure we’re living up to the standard set for us by Christ.
You don’t have to be a nerd to split your infinitives. But if you want to be loyal to God…
you’ve got to boldly go
you’ve got to consistently pray
you’ve got to reliably give
and you’ve got to frequently examine