photo credit: greyman@sxc
What a wonderful topic Rose chose for this weeks bible study! I've had some personal experience transpire which demonstrated this very theme in my life.
But first, the immediate example which was presented to me was revealed almost without my specially seeking it. I've been methodically reading through the bible (during my workouts - but that's a story for another day) and I'm currently into Daniel. I'm at the point where Daniel finds out that king Nebuchadnezzar has sent someone out to kill him-along with other 'wise men' of Babylon because the King was angry that none of the wise men were able to interpret his wierd dream.
Now Daniel, when he's approached, doesn't panic when he's informed - instead of panicking (which would be the normal reaction); he does not get mad and rage and say things in anger -instead (as its written in the Bible)
" 14 When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact."
Because Daniel spoke in a 'timely' manner, kept his calm - he was able to have the ear of Arioch, the King's commander, and as it says following:"15 He asked the king's officer, "Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?" Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him."I think we can safely assume that the way and manner that Daniel went about this by keeping his cool and speaking in a calm and wise way he managed to get the King to give him some time. The very next thing Daniel did was to give it to God - to ask God to reveal what the dream meant and to ask God to supply him with the words to explain the dream to the King.The recipe Daniel uses is one which is still a good plan today - THINK before you speak, TIME your words well and use them sparingly. Remain calm and trim away all but whats necessary to make your point.In my personal life I've applied these very bits of advice in my marriage. Used to be I'd just open my mouth and let my tongue do the walking. It did something without checking with my brain sometimes. I'd not give myself time to think through what I wanted to say - so sometimes what came out of my mouth was like unedited text. (believe me, these blog posts are much edited!) Not only was what I said presented in a pretty raw and flawed format, but it was often incorrect. To top it all off, I'd toss it out to my husband at the oddest of times. For example, he'd be flying out the door for work and I'd present him with a thought or fact, never considering that a) he did not have time to digest it in that fleeting moment, and b) it put him on the spot. So, often his instant response would be one of frustration. Not a huge surprise, but then I never paused to think about this - and would feel hurt he did not take what I'd said to heart.I don't know exactly when I 'clued in' but I'm sure glad I did. I think reading my bible and learning from, for example - Esther - about being meek and being timely and setting the scene BEFORE broaching subjects which we would desire to put across - that I eventually began to test this out on my husband. It was a truly radical thing that has changed our communication. In fact, my husband noticed almost immediately and complimented me. Does it mean I always get my way? No, but it does give me his ear and attention in a new and positive way.A case in point came just yesterday. We've been meaning to get our passports for quite some time now. Living on the border it would be a shame to not be able to have the freedom to go south. My Mother in Law got us the forms, my Sister pointed me to the website online and friends gave us countless 'helpful tips' (DON'T touch any lines when you sign or they will send it back!) Still, we procrastinated. Then, we decided it was time we'd better or we would not be able to travel in summer if the whim strikes us, so my husband, bless his heart, patiently filled out the forms. About 6 times. Ever notice that as soon as you go to fill out an official form or test paper your hand and mind has no control over that pen in your hand? Inevitably your arm will get bumped, coffee spilled or the dog will eat that form.And - I must insert this amazing fact, that while all this was happening we just HAPPENED to be given a copy of our local newspaper and it just HAPPENED to have an ad in it which said the government was opening a "Mobile Passport Office" in the Penticton Trade and Convention Center" for the next three days - meaning if we could get our forms filled in and ready we could get the processed right away and NOT have to send away our personal I.D. and NOT have to send it registered and also recieve them back quickly too!So, my sweet and thoughtful husband actually took me on a date to a local cafe to enjoy a treat while filling them out. When it came to the section for the gaurentor to sign, I GENTLY asked him if he would phone our guarentor to be sure they were available. With mild frustration (and a little rolling of the eyes) saying "She will be around, she SAID she would etc..." and when he wound down a bit " but since you've asked me so nicely I'll phone just to make you happy..." And when he did it was to discover that she and her husband were JUST seconds away from leaving for a trip to the States.Honestly, tempting as it was, the entire time we RUSHED over to her house to catch her - and all the time following, I said NOTHING, tempting as it was. And this was the second time this had happened to me that morning. Being humble, using a TIMELY word, increased my ability to communicate with my husband - and I believe his ear is more willingly bent to listen seriously to me in the future.Do YOU have an example of a "Timely Word" at work in your life?PSALM 19:14May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.I'm looking forward to our time together this Wednesday evening! If you would like to join, or know more about our Wednesday night Online chat on MSN with our women of the OCC you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org~ Barb