The reflection for this week is on words — the power of words and also the limitation of words. Words are slippery things; they can carry different meanings for each listener, a fact of human living which invites us to choose our words with care. Chosen carefully, words are extremely valuable to us, as they can connect us to another, create a bridge of understanding or kinship that did not exist before. Used carelessly, words can destroy those bridges — or at least create enough damage for some major roadwork to be necessary! And this, we know, also applies to the words we choose for our own interior conversations, as well. Our words to ourselves can also create, or destroy. As Aldous Huxley wrote, “Words form the thread on which we string our experiences.”
I once read a book in which the author noted that the most telling evidence of who a person will be five years from now is found in the books that the person reads and the people that the person spends time with. It seems to me that the common denominator in both of those situations is words — the words we take in and the words we share with others. Reflect for a moment: Are the words you’ve been reading recently creating something in your life? Are the words you’ve been sharing with other people lately — and saying to yourself — constructive? How does your future look, based on what’s on your night table or what you’ve talked to friends about recently?
As Charles Capps once said, “Words are the most powerful thing in the universe… Words are containers. They contain faith, or fear, and they produce after their kind…” But the great thing about words is that they can be changed, shaped, re-written, revised at any time. Today. Right now. May your words bless you and be a blessing; may your words create your most deeply held dreams.
–Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon
P.S. If you missed the interview with USC Music Director Michael Hatfield on my radio show, “Creative Spirit,” yesterday, you can access it (and all of the previously recorded shows) here: http://www.unity.fm/episode/CreativeSpirit_041515