Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A THOUSAND WORDS: What Do We Really Need to Say?

The other day I finally got around to watching a movie that has been on my list of "must sees". The movie was "A Thousand Words".  It is the movie starring Eddie Murphy about a fast talking book agent that is cursed with a tree that loses leaves every time he speaks. (click here to see trailer).  If you have not seen it, it is worth a watch.  This is however is NOT a movie review, it is a movie reflection...of sort.

I began to think as I was watching the movie about youth ministry and what we do.  We get paid to talk.  We get paid for our lessons, counseling, communication, and our WORDS.  We are constantly talking and communicating and talking some more.  In some ways we are very much like the character in the movie, we become fast talking, over the top salesman/women convincing people of what we are "selling".  Please do not take offense, but understand the way the world and sometimes our students see us.

SO...what would happen if we only had a thousand words left to say?  Obviously we would use them on our families and loved ones, but what if we only had a thousand words left to say in our roles as youth leaders/pastors/workers? What would we say and communicate?  Every word counted, spoken or written, what would we choose to communicate?

Would we spend it announcing the next big event?  Would we use part of those words trying to argue a minor theological point?  Would that silly illustration or joke be worthy to make the cut?  Would we just talk to talk in order to fill the lesson time?  Would we take a bit more time decided as each word came out? If you knew that the words might be the last and only words that your students, leaders and maybe even the parents ever heard from you again would they be different?

To switch and use another movie from a couple years ago, "Walk the Line" about the life of Johnny Cash.  There is a scene in the movie where a question is asked- "If you were hit by a truck and you were lying out in the gutter and you had time to sing one song people would remember from here to eternity would it be that song..." I think we are spending a lot of time singing the same old songs and saying the same old things.

We need to consider that each word has meaning.  We should remember that with each word, we give away a bit of life and eternal purpose that pretty much just falls the ground once it is out of our mouth.  We have something to say and it needs to be said.  Let us not waste the calling and voice we have been given in the life of our students!! Like in the movie--let us picture in our mind a tree full of leaves, next time we get up to speak.  Imagine as we talk, a leaf falls to the ground dead after each word, I think it might just change our words and even our ministries.  I know I am going to have that picture in my mind tonight as I speak to my group and as I plan today what I am would like to say.