Monday, January 28, 2008

A Fresh Start

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

I began a new job today, and it feels like January 1st “fresh start” time again. I realized that I was walking into this company with a clean slate. No one knows me – no reputation to be upheld (or lived down), no mistakes to overcome, no regrets. I have a clean canvas upon which to paint the next scenes of my journey. It’s almost heady – I can be anything, anyone, they have no idea who the real me is yet. I could practically come in with a fake accent and they would be none the wiser.

So what will I do with this newfound freedom, this opportunity that doesn’t come along too often in life? One of the Seven Habits (by Stephen Covey) says “Begin with the end in mind.” I would like to look back on the end of my career at this new company with the knowledge that people would say about me, “You know, I never heard her say a bad word about anyone.” I hold this goal very dear, as I know how easy it is for me to be sarcastic, passive aggressive, and to allow the bitter words of gossip to drip from my lips like venom. Too often I have wished with all my heart that I could have taken back a harsh word or cruel, thoughtless comment – the joke at another’s expense, the wry cynicism that was in direct opposition to words that would be kind and gentle and useful.

This time, I want my words to be filled with love… uplifting and healing. I want Jesus to be reflected in every utterance that comes from these lips. At the end of the day I’d like to be able to listen to a replay of my conversations and not only not wince at something, but to breath deep and smile and know that my speech was pleasing to God. I’d like to use my words to build up instead of tear down. And with the Lord's help, each day I will begin walking towards this goal with the prayer from Psalm 141:3 -- Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD, keep watch over the door of my lips.

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