Having grown up in Michigan and Indiana, there are inevitably a few words in my vocabulary that sound funny in my current Canadian context. Admittedly, some of it is the exaggerated nasal “a” that shows up from time to time, or the difficulty I have with saying ‘process’ with a British long-O sound. Even when I say it ‘correctly’ around here, people can still tell its not natural for me. But there is another set of uniquely pronounced words in my vocabulary that simply reflect a misplaced emphasis. The most obvious one is insurance. Most folks, place the emphasis on the second syllable, in-SUR-ance, and enunciate all three syllables. But not me, somewhere along the way I started to place my emphasis on the first syllable, followed by a contracting of the last two syllables as if the word only has two syllables instead of three: IN-sur’nce.
Too often, I’ve come to realize, our Sabbath practices have been like my funny sounding words and misplaced emphases. Even when we manage to adhere to the expected standards, its obvious something is still off.