Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

December 3, 2006


Which side are you on – in the war between talk and deeds?


          The war goes on. There is no end in sight. I speak of the never ending war between talk and deeds. As long as the world is populated with people, this war will continue.

          Every day we must decide which side we will be on. Will we choose the side of those who talk, talk, talk or the side of those who let their good deeds do their talking?

          As we all know, talk is cheap. And it is also plentiful. Turn on the radio or television and you hear an avalanche of words from people who know exactly what everybody else ought to be doing. I have grown weary of such blabbering. Some talk shows have three people talking at the same time. That is when I hit the mute button.

          Pick any subject and you hear people filling the air with words. If it is politics there are those vociferous blabbermouths who rant on and on about the failures of the Bush administration. These wise souls know exactly how to solve the war in Iraq and how to secure our borders.

          I rather like Bill O’Reilly. For awhile I thought he was a breath of fresh air. But lately I cannot listen to him for an hour. I simply get tired of so much talking. It rattles my nerves. I want to say to Bill, “Shut up and show me some pictures and give me a chance to digest what you just said.”

          Take athletics as another example. Turn on the talk shows and all you can hear right now is what coach Alabama should hire now that they have fired Mike Shula.

          I love football – at every level. I enjoyed watching my grandsons play when they were eight and when they were in high school. Jake and Josh are still playing at the junior high and high school level. I like college and NFL football.

          What I detest is all the talk that goes along with the game. The blabbering never stops. And especially on radio they tell you the same thing over and over. The play by play announcer tells you the quarterback rolled out right and hit the wide receiver for a five-yard gain. He gives way to the color analyst who tells you exactly what you just heard. Give me a break! Tell me one time and shut up.

          On television we now have three or four guys competing for the microphone during football games. And they never stop talking – giving you tons of information you don’t want to know. For a couple of years now I have been hitting the mute button and simply watching the game. I can see the receiver fail to catch a pass; I don’t need three men tell me the pass was incomplete.

          But oh how wonderful it is now to have cute little Miss So and So in a tight sweater stand on the sidelines and explain what is going on. Like every sports fan, I am holding my breath to find out what the coach is thinking as he trots into the locker room at halftime. What unnecessary innovation will ESPN come up with next? (Forgive me, ladies, but while I am letting off some steam I just had to get that out of my system!)

          The poet had it right when he penned those lines about preferring to “see” a sermon rather than to “hear” one any day. What the world needs is less talk and more good deeds. I know that is as true for me as it is for anyone else. I need to spend much more time doing good deeds than preaching. I learned a long time ago that the preacher is a fool who does not practice what he preaches. Unless you do something kind and loving for people, they don’t give a hoot what you have to say on Sunday morning.

          What got me to thinking about all this was a letter from my friend Betsy Hall in Washington DC. Talk is mostly what you hear from the capitol. So it was refreshing to hear that Betsy was on her way to Africa to spend two weeks working with children orphaned by AIDS. She and her team will be digging wells and hugging orphans in Choma, Zambia.

          That is what we need in this ongoing war between talk and deeds – more people doing something for people in need. We can do that where we live as well as overseas. Love beats talk any day of the week and all day Sunday!

          In this war between talk and deeds, whose side are you on? + + +