I’ve noticed how my words have changed. My spoken words over the years have fallen into the trap of using teenage lingo, graduated to cool college catch-phrases, matured into legalese, and then succumbed to everyday “normal” language. Obviously, part of that is age; I no longer feel like I’m required to say “ma’am” or “sir” because most of the people I encounter are in my age range.
My written words have also meandered. Sometimes I read papers that I wrote while in high school and college and have to wonder where I came up with such big ideas. I even question whether I have “dumbed down” over the years since college, despite furthering my education.
Tonight, as I am indulging in a leisurely evening of being entertained by the Country Music Awards, I am amazed at the lyrics in all the country songs. The words stick to my mind. Maybe it’s because the songs remind me of home. Maybe it’s due to the melodies. Or maybe it’s the words themselves, telling stories.
I recognize that words have incredible power. The power to encourage, to uplift, to motivate, to inspire. They also wield the power to harm, to hurt, to damage, and to destroy. It is the positive power that I want to tap into when I’m writing and speaking. But often, I find that the potential to slip up and use wrong words keeps me from saying anything at all. This fear of writing or saying the wrong thing often paralyzes me.
Yet, I realize that I should not fear words. After all, I know The Word. And as long as I am tapped into Him, I pray that my mind will be able to transfer life-giving words to those who cross my path.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:1-5 (NIV)