Monday, February 22, 2010

Slow to Speak

"You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness." - James 1.19-20, NRSV.

I'm sure I'd heard this verse at some point in my life, but can't recall an exact instance. Dean Ewing did a reflection during orientation on it, and I changed my blurb under my Facebook picture to verse 19. This verse came to mind today as I was writing some e-mails; I e-mailed a mentor this morning, I've had an e-mail discussion with a classmate, and I've sent a few official-ish e-mails, too. Being super-wired: Facebook (and chat), Twitter (140 characters!), and instant messaging don't encourage being slow to speak.

I find just the opposite, actually. I respond more quickly to chat stuff, or just click "comment" on Facebook or sometimes @reply someone without exercising much self-control before so doing. As I e-mailed with my classmate, as I e-mailed my mentor, and as I'm blogging I'm taking my time finding words...and these media encourage that moreso for me anyway. Submitting takes more effort, and pushing send on an e-mail makes me want it to be substantiative; IMs have been for one-liners for the last ten years of my life, and e-mails have been for more depth (at once).

While I can recall instant message conversations wherein I get to some good depth, it comes as a barrage of messages. In an e-mail I can muck through my feelings as I get down an e-mail. The person replying will get the entirety and know that I'm finished by receiving the information all at once. This gives the responder more to work with as s/he thinks about all that's going into the e-mail, and s/he can see my process so that they don't cover bases that I get to on my own.

I'm through four-days of fasting, a feast break, and into my fifth day...and I'm really liking it. I'm finding other kinds of distractions, but I'm also making room for other kinds of things (reading blogs more, reading for fun more, focusing on school reading more). This having to be slower to speak (by inhibiting my ability to speak quickly) is making me more contemplative. More time for contemplation has actually made me more God-focused and conscious of things for which I (may) need to repent, or maybe things that I need to check myself for before I get to that level. I'm reading Glamorous Powers, which like Glittering Images before it, is speaking to my soul. Sometime I'll post my quotations from Glittering Images.

Remember sisters and brothers, be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

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