Did you know that it takes more strength to be quiet than it does to speak your mind? Since I was a young girl, I spoke my mind. I don’t remember holding back. I did not have a filter in those days.
Lately, I have been noticing that I can be quite reactive. Oooh, that is very dangerous because things are not always what they seem. A few days ago, I sent an email out to a colleague. Several days went by with no response. At first, I thought the person was out of the office, but we have ways of determining if someone is in the office on any given day. So, I knew she was in the office. As each day went by, I became more and more annoyed. Who did she think she was dealing with?
I began to formulate a bunch of different scathing follow-up emails. I kept them in draft form – so that I can ‘perfect’ them. I began to think about why she could be avoiding me. Was it something I said at our last meeting? Oh my goodness, maybe I offended her when I mentioned that her department was late in delivering a report. I didn’t think she was annoyed at the time. Could I have missed it? I would have to apologize for that. I would never want to offend someone.
So, I began to formulate a new email. This email was apologizing for, uh, well, for anything I may have done to offend her which was leading to her ignoring my email. I began by just saying that I was emailing to follow-up on the meeting and that I hope I had not upset her in any way. But, the more I thought about it, the more confused I became because I did not feel I had offended.
As I was thinking all these scattered thoughts I received a message from her apologizing for not getting back to me. It turns out that she had entered my name incorrectly and only just realized it at that moment. She even forwarded me the message she originally sent. In an instant, all the pent-up emotions within me were gone. I was so grateful that I did not act on my first or second impulse by sending a follow-up email that was based on assumption.
I am asking the Lord to help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I want to be slow in reacting when I do not have the facts. Help me, Lord!