Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What did you say?!?!

Say What?!?!?!?!?

In the 1980’s there was a popular toy collection called Micro Machines. The selling point was their tiny size and their commercial’s rapid talking announcer. The gentleman’s name was John Moschitta, Jr. and at one time he held a record in the Guiness Book Of World Records for speaking at 586 words per minute. But, the attraction to the toy seemingly faded just as fast as Mr. Moschitta could speak. Recently I traveled to San Andres, Colombia for a mission trip.   

Sitting on the front row I watched in amazement as my pastor addressed the congregation. It was a foreign church and we were on foreign soil. Yet, he spoke with power and clarity - it was as if the platform were as comfortable as a pair of familiar shoes contoured to every curve of his feet. He held the audience in the palm of his hand and he was only doing introductions. Before I knew it, my pastor was introducing me with his hand pointed in my direction. Wait - what?! Me?! I'm here to support and not speak. He beckoned me to take the stage and make a short address to the congregation. Hold on! I'm not prepared - this isn't my moment - I'm wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and toms. I stood and approached the stage. Not wanting to disappoint I grabbed the mic and went in! I was talking fast and trying to give everything I had. 

A voice whispered in my ear - "slow down"

It was a comforting admonishment from my pastor. He trusted me to speak but I needed to reduce my pace. It wasn't a sprint, and a microwave message was not needed. Short does not mean swift…

I settled in like a racecar in top gear.  The advice helped me recognize that power is not in speed but in confidence. 

Zechariah 4:6N (NLT)
Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Teaching in San Andres to the youth
Although I wanted to make a lasting impression, a quick delivery would have only left temporal results. We must realize as parents, spouses, friends, siblings, leaders, and even employers that our words carry weight and everyone cannot digest your statements at the same pace. If you want what you have to say to last, take your time.

Genesis 1:3-5 (NLT)
3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, spoke it all into existence. Yet, even He took his time speaking…

I challenge you to seek God first when you speak. Then, throttle your words. Lasting impressions take time to set.