Family lore is that as a child I was quite the talker. Urban legend has it that as a baby I was lying on a bed when a cousin came in to check on me and sat down beside me. I was allegedly too young to speak in sentences, however I stated rather clearly, "Get off the bed, boy!" I don't know if this is altogether factual but over the years it has become the story and everybody is sticking to it.
My grandmother forty years after my birth still describes me in terms of how much I talked as a toddler. My parents say I never shut up.
My kids are talkers and years ago my dad said, "How could they not be? Look at their parents!"
Now, I may be the figurehead in this clan for talkers anonymous but I think we are all motor mouths. It becomes increasingly apparent when there is an interloper amongst us. Eventually we notice the person sitting against a wall with rather a stunned look on his/her face. It is entirely impossible to get a word in unless you just jump in there. I think of it as verbal double dutch jump roping. You just gotta jump in and find the rhythm.
Back to the storm in my gut. Being a talker is easy. It's the not speaking that causes me problems. I am not just a talker, I am a confronter. I am a talk-it-outer. I am a responder to e-mails and voice mails and snail mails. I am a "Hold on a minute..."sayer, and then I talk for 20. There is, however, power in quietness too. I like to be heard but I don't really need to be. I am kind of like Niagara Falls and somebody needs to build a bigger dam.
In my efforts to stop the verbal diarrhea, I do something quite ridiculous. I use tremendous force of will and do not respond to those to whom I would like to respond. But I direct my flapping lips at the Mr., Daboyz, my mom, my sister, and sometimes the windshield as I drive to work. I am not altogether sure this reflects successful discipline.
So I'm trying to direct my bottomless pool of words at Jesus instead. Because the storm in my gut needs to quiet down. Not every hurtful or vile action requires my response. Sometimes it's just the other guy's problem and I need to leave it there. I'm trying to join a double-dutch that has no openings. This is where the rope wraps around my neck and I hang myself.
I think that the temptation to tell the world to "Get off the bed, boy!" distracts me. The storm in my gut blows because I let it. I could choose to be quieted and I'm working on that. I guess you could say I need to be rebuked.
Apparently every word out of my mouth is not as adorable as my grandparents thought it was.
And not every situation requires my reply.
Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.