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ReVision

Words and the Word

I spent a good part of yesterday catching up on some of my journals and periodicals. I must have read a dozen articles in three or four different publications.

There was an interesting article about the competition in ebooks now that Apple's iPad is out to rival Amazon's Kindle. A musing on how inflation might be just the thing to cure our national debt. A piece by a writer about his early years as a literary agent (so to speak). An assessment about the state of marriage in America. Four or five poems - one about trout fishing, with intimations of transcendence.

Now all these pieces were interesting; however, none of them really matters. Nothing is going to change as a result of the thousands of words these writers bothered to inscribe in their separate periodicals. But there they are anyway. A writer's gotta write, I suppose, even if his words are little more than trivial. Makes me wonder why people like me pay good money to subscribe to journals of so little consequence.

But maybe having no consequence is the point? Do writers just need to write, as if writing were an end in itself? Do we need to keep saying to ourselves, over and over, "There's this and that, and those things over there; and while none of it matters in the long run, well, there it is." Is the art of living just a matter of observing, reflecting, and commenting, without any thought of why or to what end?

And what about conversation? Do people just talk to fill up dead space with meaningless vocalizations to act like they're interested in one another?

People of the Word should be careful with their words, don't you think? Both the words they consume and the ones they produce. The Word of God tells us that everything matters and that we will be accountable for every word we speak. Perhaps we should consider the implications of that for how we use our words day-in and day-out?

Do your words matter? You who read and study the Word of God, do you consider your words carefully, deploy them adeptly, and bolster them with additional words aimed at the same purposeful result? Do I?

A Gresham's Law of words is threatening to bury meaning-full discourse in our day. The least we, the people of the Word, can do is to make sure our words are thoughtfully chosen and fitly spoken, no matter what the subject of our speech or writing might be.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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