The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)
Last week my dad and I made a quick run down to the lake. There were a couple of things that had been left undone for the winter when Wendy and I scuttled a trip in November. Plus, to be honest, I simply wanted to check on the place. Even in the depth of Winter I found it a peaceful place of refuge. Even though the trips’ purpose was to “winterize,” for this final stretch of the season, my spirit felt like I was opening up the place for the impending spring.
And so, my mind has been drifting back there ever since I’ve been back. Friends and family are already talking about the lake, making plans and setting dates for coming down this summer. As I think about this place of sanctuary, the thing that I perhaps appreciate most about it is life giving conversation. There are meals that find people still talking around the table three hours later, quiet morning conversations over coffee on the glider rocker, and sitting together on the dock talking the afternoon away. Wendy and I purposed not to have a television signal or a lot of radios. We want people to talk.
When I read the proverb above this morning I thought of this passage from our journey through Deuteronomy:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
Our words and our conversations can build or tear down. They can bless or curse. They can breathe life into another person or sitaution, or they can infect with a viral capacity to lead into deathly places. We choose.
Today, my spirit is repeating an ancient prayer: “May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be pleasing to you, O Lord.”