Calling someone a beast is a good thing (in case you didn’t know). I first heard a person referred to as this a couple of years ago from some young people during Sunday School. They were talking about a football player; he was a beast that beasted in a beastly fashion. They were beasts at saying the word beast. Recently, I’ve gotten in on the act by calling David a beast for how he handled Goliath and by calling certain preachers that I respect beasts. “I’m glad Piper’s back–he’s a beast!” Subsequently, the usage of this word has plummeted among the young people at church. It’s not cool to sound like the pastor.
Hearing the word beast can get annoying; being called a beast is pretty cool. Sort of. It happened to me yesterday while playing basketball with a group of men, most of whom share a similar shape as me–round and out of. I made a few tough shots and did something twice that I have hardly ever done in my life–I hit 2 game winning three-pointers.
Even though I enjoyed the encouragement of being called a beast, I could not enjoy it quite as much as others apparently do. There are three main factors why:
1. The X-Men Factor. Every time I hear someone referred to as beast, I think of the X-Men character of the same name. And he is ugly. Blue skin, wild hair/fur, yellow eyes, menacing teeth–ugly. Yes, I know that he combines strength, agility, and amazing intelligence. All of that, however, is cancelled out by the fact that Kelsey Grammar played him in X-Men 3. I liked Frasier as much as the next nerd, but I just can’t picture him putting his hot tea down long enough to whoop up on some bad guys.
2. The Soreness Factor. Real beasts, after performing their beastly deeds, probably don’t feel like their body is about to fall apart the next day. It’s not so much that I am sore, it’s that I can’t quite stand up all the way straight. And I’m walking funny. I’m trying to make it look like a strut; so far, no one is convinced. Maybe wearing a fedora and using a cane would do the trick.
3. The Truth Factor. There should be some rules for who gets to be called a beast. Athletes that perform at the highest levels (Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning, etc.) could be called beasts. Artists and writers with works that touch and inspire large numbers of people could be called beasts. The people on reality shows that make extravagant cakes that cost more than my truck could be called beasts. Overweight guys who are capable of hitting an occasional mid-range jumper while being guarded by another overweight guy during a game of half-court basketball should probably not be called a beasts. Sorry overweight semi-sharp shooters–we don’t make the cut.
There was a time when I was concerned about what people called me. Then I did something important–I quit defining myself by the silly and unreasonable standard of what others thought of me. The truth is that I am a child of God, someone He loves relentlessly. Being loved by God is far better than being a beast. It is the best thing that I ever could be.
I gave no one a real reason to call me a beast yesterday and I have given God no real reason to love me like he does. He just does. And I am thankful.
(What do you about people beast called beasts? What is the best thing you have ever been called? Share away!)