1 Samuel 3:19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.
When I was a teenager, I made the trek up to an Indian Reservation in Northern Canada to be a camp counselor. The first time, I went with my youth pastor and some other teens. The second time, I went with a friend of mine. I’m sure I could have found a closer camp to be a counselor at, but it was worth the drive to have the experience with these kids. We had so much fun those summers. I remember how different the worship music was and how fun those kids were. In fact, I believe this is where I led my first person to the Lord. I was so nervous to lead someone in a prayer of salvation.
I also remember the bow and arrow contests we had. As counselors, we were supposed to teach the kids to shoot an arrow. The only problem: I wasn’t very good at it. In fact, many of those kids put me to shame. Maybe you remember the first time you tried to shoot at arrow from a bow. You put the arrow in and get that string on there… you pull back and BAM! The arrow falls to the ground at your feet. At this point you are embarrassed and the target across the way seems to be laughing at you. And there lies your poor arrow: far from the target, on the ground, waiting to be shot by an expert.
In 1 Samuel, it tells us that none of Samuel’s words fell to the ground. This picture of words falling to the ground is a picture of a rookie archer, an unskilled marksman. It is like trying to shoot an arrow and having it land at your feet. But this never happened to Samuel; his words always hit the target. I wonder what it would be like to never have wasted words. Imagine not regretting what you just said. That was the life of Samuel. He was effective with his speech at all times.
I want to strive for the same thing. I want my words to hit the mark, not fall to the ground. So I guess there are two things I can do to give me a better success rate. The first is kind of obvious, but not always realistic – think before I speak. Is what I am saying life giving? Will it hit the mark or be a bunch of babble? Second and probably way more important – listen to the Lord. If I just got His perspective before talking, I would probably have fewer words fall to the ground. So are you with me? Let’s give it a try and see what happens.