Yesterday it was my privilege to speak to sisters at the East Main church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It was one of the best planned days of which I’ve ever been a part. Those ladies had anticipated just about every possible scenario and each transition had been carefully organized. I have never seen a smoother ladies event. There were 60 churches from four states represented.
I almost wished they could have had some trouble with the power point or with the sound system. Maybe they could have at least pitched a song too high or run out of food or something— because their perfection was a stark contrast to my repeated and public blunders throughout the day.
First I came in with two purses, one on each shoulder. Now one of those purses was the little striped purse that pretty much matched what I was wearing—the one that’s cute, but can’t possibly hold all the stuff that I need to take on a road trip. That’s the one I meant to bring in the building with me. But, in my preoccupation with getting my books and props in, I somehow grabbed both the little striped purse AND the very big, very old, very full blue and purple paisley bag that definitely clashed with the grey and beige ensemble. Those two clashing bags made their way through a lot of meeting and greeting as this “bag lady” proceeded through that wonderful group of women.
Then as I got up to speak, I somehow got that ear-wired microphone thing on backwards, so that, instead of being in front of my right cheek, that microphone was on the back of my neck. Having remedied that, at last, it was only a few more minutes before the whole microphone apparatus fell crashing to the floor, taking with it one of my dangle earrings, which bounced and rolled toward the right aisle.
Having received instructions to meet some ladies at a side exit following the third presentation, so that I could reach the fellowship hall before the crowd, so as to give me a little prep time for the upcoming Q and A session, I followed them to a large stairway, where I promptly dropped my purse (the striped one) which had become entangled in my microphone cord. The microphone dangled and fell, too. Then, while a sweet young sister was helping me get untangled, I also proceeded to drop my Bible which went flip-flopping down the stairs as papers fell from it and scattered all up and down the stairs.
The sweet girls helped me get it all picked up, proceeded to help me get some food and took me to the elders’ office (where my laptop had been placed so that I could take a few minutes to look over some notes)…This is where I spilled a big cup of lemonade and ice all over the elders’ desk and its accompanying notes and materials, and all over the carpeted floor.
And in that very office is where I accidentally left my laptop as I drove off a few hours later.
And finally, on the way home, I got into fairly familiar territory, and began ignoring the voice on my GPS, in deference to those phone calls I needed to return. I got into a conversation with my sweet mother-in-law about my sweet Baby G and, before I knew it, about 15 minutes later, I realized I was revisiting every scene I had passed 30 minutes prior. Sweet Baby G had just waltzed into my mind again and taken all of my sense of direction and logic away.
I felt like Aunt Clara. Does anybody remember that bungling, stuttering old woman from the 1960’s-70’s “Bewitched” sit-com? That’s who I was yesterday! The harder I tried to be dignified and poised, the klutzier I became. The greater my determination to be productive, the more directionless.
Some days are like that. Here are some lessons that I need to learn from my “Aunt Clara” days which may possibly become more frequent as I embark on grandmother-hood (but let’s hope not—three out of every five is enough, already).
- Sweet sisters do not look at “bag ladies” and say “You sit down by my footstool.” They hug you and welcome you and, instead, say “You sit here in a good place” (James 2). And that’s a good thing.
- Fashion is far less important than getting the Word out there. (You can let the earring go ahead and bounce down the aisle, but you have got to get that microphone off the back of your neck and in front of your mouth.) The ladies at East Main were on target with getting the Word out. Five lessons in one short day on the things in our culture that are “all mixed up” was a Word-dissemination marathon! I loved it! We should all be on target about getting the Word in the “microphones” of our lives!
- Don’t use your Bible for a purse or a filing cabinet. My husband has said that many times to me. On that stairway, I wished I’d listened.
- If you are having an “Aunt Clara” day, choose water. It’s better for you on any day, but but if you are pretty sure you’ll spill it, it’s the best choice. (And always, ALWAYS choose THE water [Revelation 21:6] It’s the remedy for ALL life’s biggest messes.)
- Always re-visit every room you have visited before leaving a place and scan for lost items. That rule, applied diligently, could have saved a nice belt, a phone cord, and a diamond ring for me this year. But those are just things. Most importantly, before leaving the planet earth, we should all be revisiting our places of influence, constantly scanning for lost people and diligently trying to retrieve them for eternity.
- Don’t allow distractions to outdo directions. It’s just a very common spiritual mistake that we make. We start listening to the wrong conversation. We start allowing our minds to get fully engaged in what’s happening here and now and forget where we are going. We listen to the phone rather than the GPS. We start traveling away from the target destination of heaven rather than toward it (Colossians 3:2).
- If you are going to have one of those days, it’s nice to be on theme. At least the ladies day theme was “All Mixed Up”!
Have a great and focused day for Him!