"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
~ James 1:19
For whatever reason I've been bombarded with the temptation to believe that I need to be more exciting and contagiously extroverted. By nature I am a listener, an internal processor and a molasses style observer to this tilt-a-whirl called life; but I'm thinking of undressing myself from these traits with the same immediacy that I tear off my running gear after a 10 mile'er in late August. The bright pink fluffy tu-tu of charming wit is far more appealing that my torn blue jeans of simplicity - and that sexy scarlet lipstick of whimsical story-telling is intoxicatingly entertaining compared to the matte chapstick of deep and intimate conversations.
A couple days ago I had a job interview and had asked some of my closest friends to be in prayer for the interview. Their gorgeous responses didn't touch me right away, rather it took a couple of hours before I recognized the weight of truth behind each of their words and how, without any amount of consiousness, they spoke directly into my aforementioned temptation. Each of these amazing life-long companions of mine encouraged me with the counsel: "Be your beautiful self!" I don't need to be more exciting to win the love of others, so where did this outrageous temptation to blabber party confetti every time I open my mouth?
James tells us that we ought to be slow to speak. I just finished listening to a podcast by Pastor Francis Chan; pastor of Conerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA; that encompasses this rhythm of patient proclamations. The sermon was equally convicting and encouraging. To what level of arrogance to I come before the throneroom of God and spout off my needs like an obnoxious sprinkler drowning the sound of the gentle breeze? Chan poignantly highlights the fact that in heaven there is no space, no need for the repetitious palaver we parade around in here on earth. The only words that echoe off the emerald rainbow encircling the throne of the Lamb are as simple as this:
"Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."
~ Revelation 4:8
Day and night John tells us, these words from the four living creatures continuously give glory to Him who sits upon the throne. Over and over and over. No styrophome worship, just authentic reverance. If God does not care for bellowing lists of entertainment then why do I allow myself to think I need to alert others of my presence by flapping my jaws? Can I dare to believe that I am enough in my quiet, "slow to speak" ways? After all, tu-tu's are itchy and red lipstick ends up on your teeth. I'll keep my blue jeans and dwell in the encouragement of my friends to be my beautiful self while charging the throneroom of grace with silence.