We all have our moments; those incredible challenges in time where we absolutely have to have the last word. In these moments everything that happens seems beyond our ability to control. It is as if conversations have a life of their own. Our mouths are on auto pilot. Words come spilling out and cannot be stopped! Our minds scream out commands, our body numbly watches beyond control, and our mouth remains in gear. We will have the last word, or at least I will.
Wisdom suggest that if you “watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” (Proverbs 21.23) I already know the words of advice. What can I do when things are far beyond my ability to control? Are there answers that make sense for these moments? Is there anything that really works?
On a calm summer morning there is an obvious first question. Do I really want to stop? Seriously, is my answer my real answer of the heart?
When I was young we used to play “last touch” when someone we did not want to leave had to. The game always continued, a statement of our childhood desire that our friend would stay with us, continuing to share in the enjoyable moments of life. Sometimes the car would move while we ran around the car, slapping at the glass in front of the face we held dear. At some point things did end and our hearts were left longing for yet more time with the one we loved.
I cannot speak for you however when I need to get in the last word it is rarely in love. I find that it is in that realization lays the key. If my priority is to give and share love any early warning sign can be used. It only takes a pause, a hesitation to break the flow of angry words that will not end. Taking the chance to reflect on a warning flag is the first step! After that everything becomes a choice and opportunity. Last God-touch?