We often have the intellect, knowledge, and a sarcastic tongue to succeed in most verbal battles. And even emerge as a revered orator. But, is it right? What is our motive? What will be the impact to others around us? Do we edify and build up? Or do we destroy, degrade, or pass up opportunities to reverse personal tragedies in the lives of others? A small praise can save a life. Are we caring enough to be vulnerable?
Personally, I remain convicted in how I use my words. Too often words leave my mouth without passing a wisdom tooth on the way out. If I am fortunate, I notice the receipt of my words on the face of my friend.
Only then do I have a chance to minimize the damage I have done. I know now that I can only succeed in minimizing the damage once the words have left my lips. I can not eliminate the damage.
Birds in the Bush
One day during the morning hours a high school freshman noticed hundreds of little sparrows played in a small shrub in the middle of his yard. He always enjoyed hunting dove, quail, and ducks; but often wondered what it would be like to kill hundreds of birds at once. It appeared the little sparrows might give him his chance. He often experienced the embarrassment of missing the shot with dove, quail, and ducks. The boy felt a huge rush of adrenaline, as he thought this time he would not miss.
He planned his moment waiting until his parents left. The freshman gathered the shotgun and the shells then headed outside to the middle of the yard.
As the freshman loaded the gun, he realized he only needed one shell. There was no need to aim expertly. The shrub was just too close to matter. Hundreds sparrows were innocently arriving and departing branches within seconds of each other playing and enjoying the beautiful day.
Immediately hundreds of birds scattered wildly and left the scene. He wondered for a moment if his shot had any impact at all.
Surely he could not have missed all the birds. Slowly he walked towards shrub, as he neared ten feet from the bush he stopped frozen. Around the shrub laid hundreds of birds dead. Sparrows were stuck in branches, lifeless carcasses lie on the ground, but worst yet, several maimed birds jumped around trying to fly away.
What had he done? Did he mean to kill and maim like this? Sadly, he realized that he did what he meant to do.
Shame washed over the freshman. He took the power to overcome absolutely and seized the moment. If only he could get the moment back to make it right. If only he could repair the birds and send them flying again. Tearfully, he walked back to the house and quietly put the gun away
He had not been a sportsman. He simply killed. He had won the duel, but lost much.
What lesson could he learn? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.