God’s Not Like My Dragonspeak
By Dawn Wilson –
I love Dragonspeak technology. Except when I hate it. I speak into my headset and words “magically” appear on my computer screen. But not always the words I want.
Some examples: Instead of “distinguishes,” I found “to sting wishes;” instead of “philosophers,” I got “Phil law suffers;” and “Eureka” ended up “You reek uh.”
My dog Roscoe sits on a platform by the window next to my desk. He barks at everything outside: a dog, a mailman, a leaf flying by. He doesn’t understand that every “Bark. Bark. Bark” ends up as “Wart. Wart. Wart” on my monitor.
Dragonspeak is so sensitive, every time I stop talking I see the word “whew” on my screen. It’s recording my breathing!
I’m making adjustments and trying to train Dragonspeak to behave, because sometimes I don’t catch misspelled words in important documents. My boss recently returned an email: “Can you make some corrections here?” Ugh. I missed some.
Conversational misunderstandings happen all the time in relationships. Comedians’ repertoires often include stories about spouses who misunderstand each other. Couples need to clarify sometimes: “Did you really say what I think you said?”
Poor communication can cause chaos in an otherwise good relationship.
One day I yelled a question to my hubby from the kitchen. Back in the study, he really couldn’t hear me well, but he shot back an answer anyway. We were both satisfied that we’d been heard—until later when we realized we didn’t understand each other at all. And it cost us!
Over the years, we’ve established important communication guidelines, mostly because of our miscommunication!
1. Plan what you’re going to say, even if it only takes a minute, so you can say it clearly and concisely.
2. Consider whether it’s a good time to speak. Will the person be receptive, or is he or she preoccupied right now? Multitasking won’t help the process. Stop what you’re doing, and wait for him or her to stop. Or come back later.
3. When you do speak, be sure you have the person’s full attention, eye-to-eye.
4. Tell the person what you’re going to say. Then say it. (And repeat, if necessary.)
5. Wait for a response. No fly-by comments, spouting something and then leaving the room.
6. When it’s your turn to listen, be respectful. Don’t interrupt and don’t complete the other person’s sentences. That’s rude.
7. Finally, paraphrase what the person said. Make sure you heard correctly before moving on in the conversation or in your activities.
God cares about communication too. He wants us to know His purposes and expectations.
Too often, we enter our “Quiet Time” with Him distracted and hurried. We say a quick prayer, grab a verse or two and we’re on our way. But is there true communication? Is it just the saying and reading of words?
We need to focus our thinking, stop multitasking—even good, important things—and seek the Lord for a fresh awareness of His presence (Jeremiah 29:12-13) where we can speak our hearts and truly listen to Him! Our prayer might be, “Your Face, Lord, I will seek” (Psalm 27:8 NIV).
God understands what we’re saying and thinking, but He also wants us to understand Him. We need to “search the scriptures” until we understand God’sheart. He so wants to teach us.
I’m truly thankful God speaks to us. And I’m so glad the scriptures aren’t like my Dragonspeak.