Don’t speak until spoken through

*First of all, I have to give full credit to my friend/spiritual counselor, Joseph Francis Argazzi for this one. He shared this with me during our session yesterday and I’m pretty sure people could see my mind exploding from Navy Pier…

Don’t speak until spoken through.

Don’t you love that? Usually it’s when we try to write our own script that we stick our foots in our mouths.

When I imagine the day that I give my first sermon, I become terrified. I see myself standing there in front of everyone, frozen in fear.

Zipper down.
Toilet paper stuck to my heel. 
Everyone murmuring to each other while pointing at me.

All the stuff pops onto the screen of my mind when I try to predict how that goes down. It’s my imagined Carrie moment.

So Joe told me how he was talking through this same fear (which is the most common fear out there, I’m pretty sure) with his coach. Joe is officiating a wedding for some dear friends this fall and has been preparing vigorously for it.

His coach inquired, “What if you did it without notes?”

Joe was terrified, of course. 
Because that’s insane.

“Joe, check this out…” his coach said. “Don’t speak until you’re spoken through. If you have to stand there for 15 minutes without talking, then that’s what you’ll do.”

This is the key to presence: stepping into the unknown and trusting that indwelling God to be there with you, and as you, when you surrender your ego ideal.

This can be seen as lazy by the ego…

Ahhh, you’re just trying to get off easy.
You need to prepare — do a ton of research and memorize your lines.

That’s the typical dualistic way of seeing it. But what if it wasn’t between (1) being lazy or (2) being prepared?…

What if the preparation was based on getting your own nervous thinking out of the way and trusting the moment-to-moment intelligence of God to shine through?

This is what we do when we’re hanging out in a coffee shop together, chatting, isn’t it? Why do we not rehearse our lines for that?

Because we always (well, mostly) know what to say in the moment. And the next. And the next.

Terrifying? Yes.
But it’s the key to true authenticity.

Be not the speaker.
Don’t speak unless spoken through.