I’m usually pretty sympathetic to people who embarrass themselves. Maybe it is because I’ve done it so many times. Often it is when I just "forget." For instance, I’ve forgotten my car keys in all kinds of places.
- Years ago, I thought I had lost my keys in Dr. Phil Slate’s office at Harding Graduate School of Religion (Memphis, Tn). It was late one Friday afternoon. My meeting with him had just concluded. I was wrapping up the Doctor of Ministry project. Now as I was preparing to leave his office, I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. I thought that maybe I had laid them some where in the office. Unfortunately, there were piles and piles of papers everywhere. Piles covering his desk. Piles covering the floor. And where there weren’t piles of papers, there were piles of books. I remember that both of us were on our hands and knees looking on the floor for those keys. Then I remembered that I had gone to the restroom just before going to his office. I left his office to check in the restroom. There they were, those keys–on the sink. I had to go back to his office and explain to this man (who had just been appointed Dean of the Graduate School), that I had found them in the restroom. Uhhhhhh–kind of embarrassing!
- Then there was that embarrassing Saturday when I had another key incident. A group of us were going to the annual Helen Keller festival in Tuscumbia, Alabama. We first met at a Shoney’s early that morning to eat breakfast together. When we finished eating, the group went to the cashier together to pay for the meal. After I paid for our family’s meal, I stepped into the restroom for a moment. When the entire group finished paying, we got ready to leave when I realized that my keys were gone. "Hmmmmm. Must be in the restroom." They were. Hanging on a hook in the second stall. Meanwhile, some man was in there. So–this group of 18 people waited outside the restroom until he came out. Uhhhhh–kind of embarrassing. (Seems to be several common themes in these stories…)
You know, as I have gotten older, I find it so much easier to laugh at myself. I take myself far less serious than I used to. (I could tell a lot of other stories). I want to learn to laugh at myself more. I have learned that laughing is a great way to live and deal with stress.
I want to learn to take advantage of every moment in which I can enjoy laughter. Looking for the humor and the enjoyment of the moment can help so much. We all do and say a lot of funny things (and sometimes pretty embarassing). I want to lighten up and enjoy some of the silliness of life.
I would like to save my seriousness for the things that really matter to God.