Chaplain’s thoughts … January 15, 2016

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“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.”

~ T.S. Eliot

Words are powerful. They have the ability to lift up and create, or the destructive force to tear down and dismantle. How can words — intangible utterances of speech — have such an impact upon our physical world? Well, words are the means by which we convey, communicate and create our reality. Yet, words go well beyond this simplistic definition.

T.S. Eliot is on to something when he reminds us not to limit ourselves by living in the dreams of the past. He encourages us not to bereft words that have lived their lives, since they belong to a voice that is no more.

The marvel of this rhetoric is that the power of words is with us in the present. Our words belong to us … here and now. We are the voice echoed in by the New Year, and our words are yet to create our history.

With each day come new words and expressions that allow us to shape, innovate, and brighten the world we live in. Our words don’t sink into oblivion, but rather rise high. This is not to say that we discard formidable words from the past. For old words can be like a picture. We gaze into those old sayings and find new hope to continue into the future.

What a better picture to gaze back upon than the words of Gen. Mark Welsh III.

“We have broken the sound barrier and pioneered new paths to space. But where is that new frontier? What barriers will we break next? Every day we are given the opportunity to sign our name to history. Just close your eyes and look inside. You are that new frontier …”

As this New Year continues to unfold, I encourage you to use your words to create a new frontier for your family, community and our beloved country. May the words you use belong to a new voice that is proud and resolute. May your words dignify, honor and aim to edify each other in a way that lifts us all higher.

I encourage you to consider that it could be your voice that breaks free and becomes the next projection of words that inspire us all into a new frontier.