I’m sure we have all experienced those moments when silence is just what the doctor ordered. You know what I mean don’t you?
In a classroom setting, in the sacred moment of a church service or perhaps when that sweet darling child is just about to fall asleep. So when I tell you that it was the latter of the three aforementioned scenarios that Siri decides to get chatty, many will understand!
Enter the moment with me if you will. I am sitting on the porch of a picturesque cabin in beautiful Pigeon Forge, Tenn., my grandson lay almost asleep in my arms.
I must call my wife to let her know to come upstairs and open the door so I can bring the little bundle of joy inside to deposit him on the couch. All I wanted to do was to call Terri so I rely on Siri, as most of you know Siri is a built-in “intelligent assistant” that enables users of Apple devices to speak natural language voice commands in order to operate the mobile device and its applications.
So here’s what transpired… not able to easily dial my phone I push the button and as quickly and quietly as I can I say, “Call Terri.” “CALLING TERRI” Siri shouts louder than loaded freight train, causing the precious papoose in my arms to twitch ever so slightly. Whew, that was close I thought. SIRI just about blew the whole operation out of the wa… before I could finish said thought the air lights up again as SIRI blurts out quicker than I can reach for the phone laying on the table beside my rocking chair and said something to the effect, “I’M SORRY TIM, I DIDN’T DO A VERY GOOD JOB OF PRONOUNCING THAT NAME, WOULD YOU HELP ME, WHICH PRONUNCIATION SHOULD I USE?” If I recall correctly, it was about the line “PRONOUNCING THAT NAME” that little Spencer’s eye’s popped wide open! SERIOUSLY SIRI! So much for naptime!
Speaking of words, I am told that of the over 800,000 words in the English language. 300,000 are technical terms. The average person knows 10,000 words and uses 5,000 in everyday speech. A journalist knows approximately 15,000 and uses around 10,000. That leaves a lot of words that never see the light of day.
Words however are very important. For example, God used words to create. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters, which were under the firmament from the waters, which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.” Over and over in this first chapter of the Bible we are told that “God said”, and boy when God said, things happened! But did you notice it was all-good?
Located at the end of the last Gospel penned for us in the New Testament, in the book of John we find these words, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
God wonderfully inserts in his book, for all of us to hear, the intentions that lay behind all that is written. Words are important aren’t they? Our words hold great significance. What we do with them, how we use them, what we say and how we say it.
But perhaps more important are the words of God. What we do with them, how we use them and how we respond to what God says.
A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain,
“Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.”
“I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in Boston and keep them.” Funny story to be sure. However the most important thing to consider is this, are you doing with right thing with the right words today?
Throckmorton is the pastor of Crossroads Church in Circleville.