Monday, August 22, 2011

Pondering: "Failure to Communicate Well and Paranoia"

Okay, so twice today two different men sent me text messages that left me seriously confused. Both messages contained a similar "miscommunication" on the guys' part and a failure to comprehend, compounded by paranoia, on my part.

Both messages made it sound as though a third party (not the same person in either case) was blaming me for something that, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out any possible way that I could have been guilty of said issues/problems/failures.

Fortunately, after spending a few moments pondering and considering, (Okay, okay! stewing and brewing!) I asked for clarification from them both. And low and behold....well, that's where the miscommunication/failure to comprehend part came to light. It wasn't me! It was the way they worded their communiques!

(And then my paranoia took over all by itself and did the rest!)

So what did I learn (relearn) from today's double dose of texting woes? Well, Solomon has a lot to say about words and how we use them. He doesn't have a lot to say about how we communicate "textually." Too bad...
Oh! Wait a minute. Here we go...
Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word aptly texted is like apples of gold in settings of silver." (From the Debby Bentch Personally Revised Edition)

Hey, I'm going to work on my paranoia issues, but help me out here, okay? Could you guys communicate with that in mind? Clarify, Clarify, Clarify!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pondering: The Mystery Couple

It does make me sad, but I must confess, that the very first time I saw the two of you together, I figured you were having an affair! But really, why else would two grown adults, in two separate vehicles, be parked side-by-side in an out-of-the-way corner of a large parking lot like that?

And then, well the scene was so intimate, even in broad daylight, that I had to look away. In the car snuggled as close as you could get or standing together against the car, locked in each other's arms like that, well, wouldn't most people have wondered the same thing?

I'm not sure how many times, over the last few months, that  I have seen the two of you during your late afternoon rendezvous, but I've been pondering other possible scenarios (besides the one my imagination first proposed).

Maybe you are a happily married couple working different shifts and you have just those few sweet moments to connect for the day.            

Or maybe you live in different cities and, like ships passing in the night, you take advantage of every opportunity to grab a few moments as one of you passes through.

Or maybe it's just the thrill of a few stolen moments in the middle of your busy day, free of kids and household responsibilities. I don't know, I guess the possibilities are endless.
But, for what it's worth, I thought of the two of you today and said a prayer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pondering "The Words of My Mouth"

So my friend Jeannie called today, and for the next two hours we caught up on each other's lives. (Maybe if we talked more often it wouldn't take so long. Actually, now that I think about it, the last time we talked it was for four this wasn't so bad!)

Well, one particular part of the conversation left me with something of the "heavy duty" nature to ponder for awhile. Inevitably, in the course of our conversation, she will say something to the effect, "Do you remember when you told me...." or "One of the things you said to me one day was...." or "Several years ago you told me..." She does this to me often and sometimes it is oddly disconcerting.

And, of course today was no different, except that she had to set me up for what she was going to tell me that I had said. So the whole time she was giving me all of the details, I was feverishly wondering where she was going with this line of conversation and hoping that whatever it was I told her was fair, just and wise and not random, off the wall or shallow!

Jeannie's "still waters" run deep and my responses, my counsel and my advice need to be worthy of her formidable introspection, and she seems to remember so much of what I have spoken over the years! Blessedly, what she shared-that I had shared-was very familiar because I wholeheartedly believe it and have said it to any number of people throughout the years. So I could confirm and reaffirm the gist of the conversation, but here's where the post-phone call pondering took me...

How many times, through the years, have I given poor counsel or thoughtless advice or...whatever, not just to Jeannie, but to others; to my children, to my friends, to the people in my realm of influence, to those  under my spiritual leadership? How many times and in how many situations have I shared insights from my own painful pre-healed past that might not have been at all wise or helpful. I am reminded of my "life's theme" a few year's ago (I usually discover one for every year of my life). The one that stands out the most was from 2006: "Who Am I and What Do I Know?"

So where has this reflection taken me today? Right into the face and heart of my God and with that comes the humbling experience of realizing that, in and of myself, I have nothing of any value to offer anyone! It is only as my Father guides, directs and instructs me; only as He gives me divine wisdom can I offer another something worth the remembering.

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer."
Isaiah 50:4 "The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."

Proverbs 15:2 “When wise people speak, they make knowledge attractive, but stupid people spout nonsense.” (GNT)
“The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” (NKJV)
“Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.” (The Message)
“The wise person makes learning a joy; fools spout only foolishness.” (NLT)
                LORD, may You EVER teach me wisdom!