The words we use and the words we hear.
Sometimes I think that I spend every waking hour in conversation. This is usually with my alter ego and either it or I am defending a position or being sure that I choose my words carefully.
I remain a teacher, I pray that I will never stop. I love working with students, allowing them to grow into their own intellect. To do this, I must be very careful how I speak with a student. I love to kid and have fun, but I try never to embarrass or discourage a mentee; many times, egos are fragile. I must support my students, challenge my students, no ridicule them. I always choose my words carefully.
This type of conversation, although I sometimes say I am talking to myself, is, in reality, a conversation with God. Henri Nouwen labels us as wounded healers. This is me to a word. I was not the greatest student when in my early 20s; some college professors told me to become a plumber or an auto mechanic because I did not have what it takes to graduate from college. I believed them. Fortunately, my wife had confidence in me and support my efforts to attain my first degree, an MA in Accounting. Since then I have returned to college twice, once for a master’s in history, and the second time for a doctorate in literature.
How much time was wasted? How many students did I miss by not becoming the teacher I wanted to be after graduating from high school.
Words hurt; be careful what you say. Sometimes we demonstrate greater knowledge and caring by remaining silent.
Let me return to my inner conversations. Many people doubt me, but I know that my conversation partner is God. Many things that come to mind during these conversations are way above my human intelligence. There are several other reasons I know that God is in my life, full time. When I sit on my patio and a bird, or squirrel, or our neighborhood groundhog joins me, I can see in their very beings that they are God keeping me grounded. The joy they get from my wife’s feeding and the joy I get observing these marvelous creatures are gifts from God. I also recognize God in flowers and trees and plants. Whether their beauty is a white-streaked rose, a brook so clear, the bottom looks only inched away, but in reality is several feet, these wonders of nature share God as a source. There are times I cannot sleep; if this is persistent, I step on my back deck, look toward the sky and see what appears to be sextillions of stars and planets winking at me. I open my mind to the presence of God in my life and am then able to return to my bed for sleep.
All the while, I am talking with that inner voice. I question whether that inner voice is the voice of God, or whether I am an inner voice speaking to an entity with much closer connection to God.
Either way . . . WOW!