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A Lesson on Speech from Bagpipes

I was at a bagpipe competition—yes, I'm Scottish—and I expected the judges to be fans of bagpipe music. So why, I wondered, did they have their hands over their ears?

Inflated bagpipes naturally make a steady droning noise. The actual music is played over and above that. In covering their ears the judges shut out some of the low pitched noise while still hearing the higher pitched melody.

Low level noise surrounds us wherever we go, whether it's the rumble of traffic or the incessant inane chatter coming from the television. But a lot of it comes out of our mouths.

Imagine if every word you spoke in a day were laid out for a judge to examine by the standard of usefulness or kindness. How many of them would be deemed offensive or simply unnecessary noise?

If we thought about it, we could put those words to a much better use. We could be helpful, kind, encouraging, even inspirational.

One of the downsides of omnipresence for God must surely be that he's around to hear every trivial, obnoxious, thoughtless word we let spill from our mouths. Let's make sure he doesn't feel like covering his ears when we open our pipes.

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