I was reminded recently that the act of saying something aloud changed how one viewed the words. As I have thought about the act of speaking and what it does to what we think it is important, the one illustration is that by saying things we swallow them. A character in a movie said it well; “Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood. That sticks, right in there somewhere.” Saying the words is a key step in letting the thought into the essence of our souls.
Ironically, knowing this and having an invitation to embrace something good is not enough. We need to take a good idea and do something with it. Say the words. Embrace the words. Let the world see the words in and through our actions.
Life reminds me that you cannot force someone to accept a good idea. You can offer it, describe it, and even model it. Each is a form of an invitation that creates an opportunity window for another. What happens next is out of one’s control. Letting the idea live freely is the best thing that we can do; our mission is to get on with the actions of living.
In looking at invitation presented, lost, and seized, there is an outcome I often miss. In responding to good ideas (truth), we step into a story that is bigger than anything we can imagine. Compassion, Community, and Love like to remind me that response of others before me is replayed again and again in the lives of those saying “yes”. Their words can be mine: “‘I’m coming to the party you’re throwing for me.’ That’s when God’s Word entered my life, became part of my very being.” (Psalm 40.8)
I do not always have to go looking for ideas. Great truths are all around me. In my act of embracing them, saying the words one at a time, I give these truths room to grow within me, changing me from the inside out.