My topic was the Tongue. It gets us in a lot of trouble, and yet, there are times when we are terrified of our own ability to speak up. I had made a lot of notes about bible verses and ideas that I had, I even had a rough outline but never really got the opportunity to sit and organize my thoughts.... and I'm glad I didn't. I think that might be why I get myself so worried.
I have never been more relaxed and comfortable getting up in front of a group of women in my life. Maybe it was because I know Nancy Wheat, and she is the kindest, most encouraging person on the planet, or because my mother was there, or because I knew what I wanted to say and hadn't over-thought it. Whatever the reasoning, I got up and said what I wanted to say, and didn't stumble or feel nervous. It was amazing.
As I said, my topic was The Tongue, and in my notes I had jotted down a quick reference to an essay I'd read by Ray Bradbury. The essay was entitled, "Run Fast, Stand Still". The title references those lizards you see on the Discovery channel that get up and run like crazy on their hind legs and then stop and stand perfectly still. I realized that we have a strange, love-hate relationship with our tongues. We know we open our mouths too often and say things we should never say, in ways we should never say them, and often we seem ambivalent about this, but the truth is that we are also often reluctant to speak out when the truth needs to be spoken. It's so easy to throw off a hurtful comment but so difficult to say things like, "I'm sorry." or "You need to change." or "That's not what I believe, and let me tell you why..."
Another step in the journey. Hopefully one that might pick up pace sometime soon.