The Incredible Power Behind our Wordsby Juan Sepúlveda There are words that, when uttered at the right time, can have a profound effect on another person. The comforting sound of a friend saying “don’t worry, I’m here”; The deafening sound of a mother yelling “Shut up!” or the tender sound of the first time you hear that person say “I love you”. Do you remember those moments? Words can destroy someone when they are vulnerable or they can build them up when they are receptive. I want to share with you today, the great influence that a simple phrase has had in my life. That is “Ok, let’s go”.
Words can destroy someone when they are vulnerable or they can build them up when they are receptive.My Mother was the kind of person, who understood the power of words. When she needed something done, she knew what to say and how to say it. But it wasn’t just words that made her special, she often amazed people by creating beautiful things out of virtually nothing. She exemplified creativity and resourcefulness. She taught us not to focus on what we were lacking, but instead, to focus on what we already had and how it could help us solve our challenges. I clearly remember how she once transformed an empty cardboard box, some string and an old stack of magazines into an amazing mansion in which I could play. Instead of focusing on scarcity, she would embrace the opportunity to create fun, by gathering whatever materials she could find and say “Ok, let’s go”.
What should we do when fear tries to turn us away from the land of our vision? Should we give up and return to the desert?Another way in which she used her words effectively was, whenever I faced an intimidating challenge, she would wisely say “God didn’t bring us this far to turn around, he brought us here to take possession of the land he promised us”. Referring to that biblical story where, after 40 exhausting years of wandering through the punishing desert, the people of Israel finally could see the promised land at the distance. Instead of immediately going in to the land of their vision, they were paralyzed by fear of the challenges they saw lurking in it. Similarly, when we get close enough to our vision, we often become paralyzed, when the proximity to that vision reveals challenges we had not previously considered. What should we do when fear tries to turn us away from the land of our vision? Should we give up and return to the desert? No! I can almost see her standing beside me whenever I am facing an intimidating challenge and in an encouraging tone saying “Ok, let’s go”. That brave woman was no stranger to challenges herself. Her inspiring demeanor sprung from her own experiences; From her optimism when facing life’s opportunities; From her determination when facing daunting challenges. In February of 2004, I was called to her bedside in Puerto Rico, as she had been re-visited by an old foe. That insidious Cancer she had once so valiantly fought, had not forgotten her. During those few days, we exchanged words, which will remain between us. But they are as powerful in my mind today, as when they were first uttered from her withering lips. But, as she began to travel to that undiscovered land from where nobody returns, she left me with one more gift. She used her last breath to whisper “Ok, let’s go”.
You can use them to destroy someone who has wronged you, or you can use them to build someone up.I want to leave you with this thought: You have great power in your words. You can use them to destroy someone who has wronged you, or you can use them to build someone up. Today you face opportunities and challenges. When you face an opportunity, don’t focus on what you are lacking, but instead think of what’s the best you can do with what you have. When facing a daunting challenge, don’t consider giving up and turning around, but instead go and conquer that new land you envision. But most importantly, remember that time is precious. Remember that although your physical body may one day wither away, your words are powerful enough to survive you and live forever in someone else’s mind. I challenge you to go out there and use your words to make a difference in people’s lives; To share words of encouragement, words of compassion, words of love. Ok? Let’s go.
Image Source: "Desert Virga" by John Fowler is licensed under CC BY 2.0