A friend dropped me an email this morning with several questions. I realized in the few lines that he sent to me that he always brings a consistent gift. He insights and questions are clear. There are never ambiguous, even the complex ones. I may not know how to answer them, but as my clarification questions affirm, I do know what they mean! He has the ability to be concise, clear, and to the point.
I think he has heard and answered the question that an old writer asked. “If I don’t address you plainly with some insight or truth or proclamation or teaching, what help am I to you?” (1 Corinthians 14.7) In his case, I know he wants to help. That is a key point in his personal mission. His actions tell me of his intent. The clarity and directness keep me focused on the questions at hand. I may not like the questions but I understand.
An advertising cliché says that it is harder to say something in a few words than it is in a long story. If one is unsure of the point, this is doubly true! Life suggests we, I, take time to think before speaking or writing.
Life reminds us that being present is the beginning of clarity. From Lord Chesterfield’s note to his son in the 1700’s, “steady and undissipated attention to one object, is a sure mark of a superior genius”, through modern scholars, the evidence keeps coming back to the advantages of being fully in the moment at hand.
Extra words rarely bring understanding. The cliché is “less is more”. In the case of writing, storytelling, and clarifying answers, it definitely helps. There needs to be enough to give the subject content but not so much that it is weighed down by the sheer number of words.
As I think of my answers, I realize that I need to pause, focus, and simply be. God is whispering in your life and mine. Our hearts are looking for peace. In the present quietness, answers wait for us.