Monday, 28 February 2011

I take it all back

Rocky's got a new lead.

Now to most dogs in most homes this is not major news but to Rocky it is potentially life-changing. 

The Sage-On-The-Hill is probably Rocky's biggest fan and it was he who supplied the lead. It's one of those fancy-pants extendable jobbies with a spring loaded coil for easy extension and retraction.  Rocky loves it.  He gets to wander about from side to side paying as little attention to me or the Wife as possible.

The only drawback is that when he spots something in the distance which provokes uncontrollable excitement (a bike, a ball, a bird...) he takes of with such speed that the jerk which happens when he reaches the end of the lead would almost knock you off your feet but maybe that's a story for another day.

Retractable leads would be useful for other things as well.  I'm thinking about our words. On so  many occasions it would be great just to pull back into our mouths the loose talk that flows so freely out of it.  The harmful gossip, the inappropriate word of hate, the inappropriate word of love, the joke that went to far, all the things that cause hurt and damage. 

Unfortunately we don't have retractable leads for our words, once they're out - they're out.  So what's the answer?  The bible describes a misplaced word as a spark that can start a forest fire (James 3). It also says that what comes out of our mouths starts off in the heart.  It's not our tongues which are hate-filled or cutting, or judgemental or gossips - it's our hearts.

Keep your words on a short leash by ensuring your heart is free from malice and full of wisdom.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
James 3:9-10

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
James 1:5-6

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