An adage is a short, clever saying. It conveys a unique perspective of truth and has the power to captivate, so much so that it may be committed to memory by the masses. An especially witty adage is given approval, through frequent use, and achieves longevity as it is passed down from generation to generation.
Here are some examples, tried and true, that have weathered the test of time: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” “Better safe than sorry.”
There are also adages we use from the Bible: “To everything there is a season.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) “There is no peace for the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22, 57:21) “You will be more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
What is the most commonly used adage that you have encountered? For me, it is: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Recently, I entertained the thought of changing up these words, and here is the result: “When life gives you lemonade, thank the lemon squeezer.”
What is the difference between the old adage and the newly reconstituted form?
The original promotes keeping a positive attitude when setbacks come our way. There will always be challenges and we need to do what we can to overcome them.
We make the lemonade.
The second calls for giving thanks to God for work accomplished: the forgiveness of sin. What was once dry and lifeless has been reconstituted and resurrected, through sacrificial blood, sweat and tears.
The lemonade has been made for us. Every day we should thank its maker.
In my book, adding a new twist to the old recipe gives both a satisfying taste.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.