I was raised by parents who were born and raised in the Mormon religion. We knew early that we should not and would not say the name of the Lord in vain. It was understood that this was worse than swearing of any kind. We didn't dare do it. We weren't even allowed to say "Oh my GOSH" because this was too close to the real thing.
I only remember breaking this important commandment one time growing up.
The Scene: lunchtime in the cafeteria at my junior high school
The Players: me and about 20 other students
The Action: Andre, the only black kid in school (not that that is relevant whatsoever, I'm not even sure why I even said this or why I don't delete it now) stood up at our table and announced that he was going to make a little money. We were all immediately intrigued.
"Anyone who gives me a dollar is allowed to put one scoop of whatever food you choose in my applesauce, and I will eat it all, every drop. If not, you get your dollar back."
The crowd cheered and started pulling crumpled dollar bills out of their pockets in excitement. I watched in horrified fascination as cookies, potato chips, jello, cheese, hamburger patty sections, pickles, mustard, ketchup, green beans, twinky creme, salt, pepper, bread, peanut butter, oreos, peach syrup, and milk were added to his applesauce. His wad of money was huge by the time it was finished.
There was dead silence all around as he lifted the first disgusting spoonful to his mouth. As soon as he started chewing, it slipped out of me in barely a whisper.
In that single moment, it felt like I had screamed the words. It even echoed in my brain like something yelled across a big chasm. It was like I was standing naked in the middle of the crowded room. I felt physically sick, and I remember my horror vividly, as wave after wave of shame and remorse washed over me while I stood stock still, with eyes raised to the ceiling, knowing that God had heard me and was considering sending the lightning bolt through the ceiling.
I quickly left the room and ran to the bathroom, where I locked myself in a stall and said a heartfelt repentance prayer for my sin.
Fast forward to today, where I've reached the point in my beliefs where I'm wondering if there is even a god at all.
I've noticed something peculiar about me now. As I write blogs and comments and e-mails, I've discovered the joy of writing the words. Sometimes they have different meanings, it depends on the context of my conversation or thoughts. But I have discovered that it is the only proper thing to write sometimes. It just plain fits.
OMFG (yes, I even use the F word now too at times)
Oh GAWD! (thanks, Sideon)
God, that sucks.
GOD, that's awesome.
Holy. Mother. of. God.
Sweet. God. In. Heaven.
I still can't say it out loud like I'd like to, unless I'm saying I swear to God! But that's not really saying it in vain. And this surprises me because I have no problem swearing at all. I enjoy it, actually.
So why can't I say GOD like I'd like to?