In the fall of 2009, I taught a class. The class was about spiritual disciplines. We met in the upstairs of a fitness center, talking about disciplines and practicing them for about an hour and a half each Sunday night. We covered different types of prayer, Bible reading vs. Bible study, fasting, meditation, solitude, silence, celebration, etc.
During this time, I was trying to keep up with two other disciplines. I was trying to be on time–prompt and punctual. For those who know me, you know I’ve struggled with this (primarily because I prefer timelessness). I did well for the class, and I felt accomplished in the discipline. Since then, I’ve relapsed a bit. Pray for me.
The other discipline I practiced was staying accountable with my words. I avoided using “like,” “you know,” and other annoying glitches. Why? Because when I hear them, I want to throw large, sharp metal objects at people. Example: “I know, right? It’s like, you know, I had this opportunity, and it was like, great, but I, you know, wasn’t sure, so I, like, told the person I wasn’t interested, like, I kind of said no. You know?”
Annoying? Yes. Full of glitches? Yes. Just say, “I had this great opportunity, but I turned it down.”
Less words. More poignant.
Do I sound prudish?
Since that class in ’09, I’ve done a decent job of avoiding these glitches. But I still stumble. And when I stumble, it drives me even more crazy. Thus, I apologize. Anyone who has ever heard me speak without thinking first, I am truly sorry.
(Hannah, this is especially for you.)