This brings me to "Hamilton" and some thoughts. This musical/play/movie has obviously affected me. I have seen it several times. The song that affects me most has to do with the antagonist, Aaron Burr. I think I appreciate Burr's story almost as much as I appreciate Hamilton's. I am reminded of Salieri and Mozart when "Amadeus" came out. "Wait For It" is the song that I keep thinking about. Burr and I have something in common. We wait. I was taught that good things come to those who wait.
When I was younger, a teenager, I was just starting puberty when I discovered my mouth. James didn't lie in his Epistle when he talked about the tongue and how it can get you in trouble. My mouth was always writing checks that I couldn't cash. Afterwards, I would feel... bad. I would think about the things I said and I knew that I couldn't take them back. Was this the person that I wanted to be? Did I want to be someone who had a big mouth? My father would recite to me in Spanish, Proverbs 17:28 "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." It took me a while but I had to learn how to control my mouth.
I heard this thing that said something like, "Is it kind? Is it meaningful? Is it worth it?" Someone would say something and I would have the words burning in my mouth. The words were burning. I finally learned to be clever and quick with my quips only to leave the words in my brain. I had to learn how to tell myself stop. Then I had to ask, "Is it kind?" I would argue with myself. "This is too good to keep in my head!!!" "No." Was the response. I want to think it was the Holy Spirit telling me no.
I had this boyfriend when I was much younger. I won't say his name but he was quiet. I misinterpreted his silence for deep pensive thought. I told myself that he was a smart thinker. I filled in his narrative for him. It turned out that he was not a deep thinker. He was a selfish man who didn't speak because he lacked the communication skills. My father had been right, even a fool is thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut.
These days, I am slow to speak. I ask myself if this is a good thing. Should I have a response? Then another verse from James comes to me. "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." James 1:19-20
There are times when I feel bad waiting. I'm a teacher. I have had better times waiting than being active or making a decision. Of course, there are times when a decision needs to be had, but for the most part, waiting has served me well. Having a teen screaming with tears and rage at me. They curse me out. My response is to rage back. But then... I pause. Stop. I tell myself. "Is it kind?" I thank God for those times when I have kept silent instead of reacting. My favorite, Psalm 37 teaches me to wait on God. The only active thing to do is pray.
There have been days that I sit down and say, "I should be doing something." Should I? I think there is something there that makes me feel like I am not doing anything but then again, I pray and wait. God is working in my waiting. Praise the Lord.