Saturday, March 14, 2015

idle talk

Woah Nelly.   Does anything characterize 21st century America better than the phrase "idle talk'?  Where do I begin? 

Have you ever watched those home decorating shows that take an hour to show you how one room was renovated?  And most of the time is just talk.  I love watching the craftsmen and women tear down and build new things, but that is not the lion's share of the show.  Most of the show is talking about what they are going to do, what they are doing, and then what they did.  It takes a lot of chatter to stretch what could be a 15 minute show to 1 hour.

There is a southern phrase, "Spitting out words to see where they splatter."  That is the condition we are all afflicted with.  Whether a chat room, message board, facebook comment, texting, realtiy tv, twitter or other modes, we will talk just to hear ourselves.  There is nothing productive coming from it, no deepening of relationships or building others up. 

The thing we need so much and yet run from is silence.  We are like my little baby who will babble away in church, but then is shy and quiet with a stranger.   We don't know the time and place for talk, we let it fill our every waking moment.

And I do this.  I put on the news radio as I cook instead of praying as I work.  I talk on the phone in the car instead of noticing the nature whizzing past me.  I fill the void with noise, not the rich silence in which I can hear God.

Its like I tell my kids a million times.  When I am talking on the phone, I can't hear what you are telling me.  When our ears are filled with the sounds of idle talk, we can't hear God.  When our mouths are constantly talking, we aren't praying.

Oh Lord, have mercy on us and take this spirit of idle talk.  Give us silence. 

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