I do a lot of public speaking. It is something I love and is also a part of my job. Just as I love communicating through writing, I also love communicating messages through speaking. I love the entire process – the preparation, the process of telling a story, crafting and delivering a message, and responding and connecting to an audience.
Before I speak, no matter what the venue, I pray that it will not be about me. But no matter how often I offer up this prayer, there are too many times when it is about me. It’s about my stories. It’s about how I connect – or don’t connect. And it’s about the evaluations – that moment of truth where I read through anonymous handwritten forms and see how I have been rated and where there is room for improvement; where I read the comments that affirm or those that hurt.
There is only one exception and that is when I am speaking to a deaf audience. With a hearing impaired audience it is never about me. My words, my message, my intonation is all communicated to the audience through an interpreter. Rarely are the eyes of the audience on me. Rather, they are watching the moves, sign language, and expressions of the interpreter. It is the interpreter who is important, the interpreter who is key to the entire presentation.
With this realization, I am completely free. I am free to communicate without fear, knowing that I must trust the interpreter entirely with my message. It is in this setting that I do some of my best communicating.
And that is what I want for 2012. I want God to be the interpreter of my messages. I don’t want it to be about me. Not the stories or the intonation; not the outfit or the hair; especially not the evaluation. I want my life, my entire life, whether speaking, writing or living to be interpreted by God Himself. Just as with a deaf audience, I want to be completely free to communicate without fear, totally trusting the Great Interpreter to interpret the message, because it isn’t about me.