Whose word defines me? Words impact our lives in a relentless barrage. I must admit I let this encroachment happen. From early in the morning until late at night, there is hardly a moment of peace. Even when no one else is speaking, my own words will demand my attention.
Many years ago, the songs on the radio provided words to live by. They captured the emotions and imaginations of all my friends and, some say, my whole generation. Our hopes and dreams, our griefs and regrets were put to verse and music by artists and musicians with gifts of empathy for the ways we often felt. Many of those songs resonate with me to this day.
Books and magazines provided even more compelling words. Who was not affected by Green Eggs and Ham? I definitely am Sam.
Today, I have a different way of dealing with words. Now I try to produce better than I consume. I carry a little book around and a pen for making notes. Words that I want to consider further–words that may inspire me. My jotted notes are my spiritual meditation. Of course, it’s also my to-do list.
When I read a headline or a caption in the newspaper or a magazine, I try to consider what God would say about it and whether there is a holy perspective that I can have. How should I react to a headline about violent crime? What’s the godly view of any political issue? If I don’t have my notebook, I make marginal notes.
It is easy to think of oneself as inconsequential in the larger scheme of things, and we are regularly reminded of this by the prevailing narrative. But it is false, and the word of God makes it clear that we are significant because we are His children and His heirs. We are brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ! This claim has the words that can define us. The light and life of God’s Word enliven us and enable us while giving us the courage and strength to live in times like these.
It's not easy. O Lord, help me! The tempest of disturbing noise shakes us and confuses us if we let it. Daily refreshment in the Word is a vital need. He speaks to us through the Bible. But we need to talk with Him as well, and that means devout prayers. God is with us, and He is always, always listening for our prayers.
It’s amazing how “just a little talk with Jesus” sets the tone for my day.
O Lord, our loving Father, will you help us to respond to everyone in every situation with your wonderful words of life?
In Jesus’ name, amen!