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Mixing Console
Our mouths should have a mute button fitted…

That’s what it sounds like when you are speaking and put your foot in it. It happened to me this morning at the conference I am attending. I am one of the people who are trying to make the tech stuff do what we want and one of the speakers, who was running PowerPoint (or equivalent) from his own machine at the front was waiting for the image to appear on the screen. I had switched the vision selector to display output from the machine at the front but nothing was displaying on the screen. The speaker asked me to put his images on the screen but I had done all I could from my seat at the tech desk at the back. So I called out across the conference: “The problem is with your end.”

As soon as I said it I realised that it could be taken in other ways than the intended one, but it was too late. I had said it.

I rushed to the front and sorted out the problem (loose connection) while feeling a bit embarrassed at having told our speaker that there was a problem with his end. The other problem was that I heard a bit of sniggering from some of my fellow delegates and that made me a bit giggly too. So I had to try to suppress a smile that could have developed into embarrassing laughter at any time, and we all know how difficult it can be to stop a laugh from coming when it is determined to express itself.

It did remind me of the old joke where the Bishop was having trouble with the PA during a service and said, “There’s something wrong with the microphone” and the people who hadn’t heard him or weren’t listening responded with the liturgically correct: “And also with you.”

Words are like bullets. Once you have fired them you can’t stop them. You can’t unsay something. You can apologise, you can try to make good any damage you have caused, but you can’t prevent them from making an impact on those who are listening (or reading).

The Bible advises us to keep our tongues under harness like a wild horse. My parents used to say, “Engage brain before opening mouth.” It’s sound advice (pun intended!).

Be blessed, be a blessing.

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