That’s the second part of the statement that pulled me up short just now. Well, okay, I embellished it a little. The first part reads, “Your mouth can block your blessings.”
So, put together, it reads, “Your mouth can block your blessings; know when to shut up.”
Your mouth can block your blessings; know when to shut up.
When I’m talking, I’m speaking from my limited store of present knowledge and understanding. It might be mixed with a smidgen of momentary insight. Yet talking is fueled by what I already know – or think. Or think I know.
It is possible for my physical, outside mouth to be firmly closed, yet my internal mouth be wide open, continuing to weigh in on whatever’s being discussed. Quiet on the outside, screaming on the inside.
I’ve skidded to a smoking halt some mornings after realizing I haven’t had my quiet time. Breath surging in and out like a bellows, heart rate up around 213, thoughts and ideas ricocheting off me like tennis balls out of a Silent Partner Quest automatic server.
Guilty, I’ve even knelt to show my humility. Outwardly quiet. Inside? Not a chance. By the time I’ve prayed across the spectrum of known requests and last-minute thoughts and spoken my smug, still-breathless “Amen”, my heart rate is approaching the 157 maximum beats per minute it should have been thudding for my age.
Quiet time wasn’t. My internal mouth never even hesitated, blabbering right on with whatever I’d been outwardly speaking. One’s spirit can be so loud and opinionated that quiet is not possible, even when one is not talking.
To reason and consider calls for a stillness of both one’s voice and spirit. Eyes, ears, mind and spirit all need to acquire a calm stillness to receive new understanding and truth.
As a boy I remember the few times my mother or dad would glance down at me with stern kindness and say a measured, “Be still.” That was brevity code for, “Shut it; we’re trying to listen to someone else right now.”
You know the bedlam that occurs when everyone’s trying to talk at once. It’s not pretty. I once had a boss who never raised his voice to get everyone’s attention. He simply slid back his chair, quietly stood, buttoned his suit jacket and waited.
It always worked.
I’ve never forgotten his example.
For my out-loud voice and my inside voice, there’s a time to know when to shut to the up. I’m finding when I shush them both at the same time and focus my attention on the only One worthy of it, I learn things that, when I do say them, make me sound wiser than I am on my own.
I’m guessing you’re the same.
Think about it.
© D. Dean Boone, July 2016