I was the teacher for the ladies Bible class. I proceeded to try and get there early, so I could put a chart on the board comparing Melchizedek with Christ. I dropped off Colleyanna, my sweet two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter, who’s staying with me this week, in her classroom and hurried to room 119. I was a minute early, but there were lots of girlfriends in there already and they were chatting about potty-training…all about the stress you go through when your kids are first out of diapers—You have about ten seconds to find the bathroom when they tell you they’ve got to go. There was advice about not rushing it…”My Joy’s only been potty trained for a couple of weeks and she just turned three.”
And I was listening while I was writing my chart. In my Mammy-head was “Maybe I should be glad she’s not potty-trained, then, because I don’t think I could handle any more stress just now,” and “Oh, well. Colleyanna is just two-and-a a-half. There’s plenty of time…But we have to do it before PTP, for sure, so she can go to class.”
And just as sure as the world, I wrote a column on my chart entitled “Melchizedek” and, on the opposite column (instead of “Christ”), I wrote “Colleyanna” and started listing my verses of comparison.
When it came time to actually study the verses with that room full of ladies, I had them look up the verses as we discussed the list and someone would read them out loud. Only the first verse had nothing to do with the topic. Astute women in the class (who should have been teaching) quickly realized I’d added a one and it was verse five instead of 15 …or some such simple mistake. Those ladies are very forgiving.
Then we got to the second verse. Same thing. One chapter off. Nothing about the fact that Jesus is the King of Peace. This time they laughed that i’d mess up two verses in a row. I commented about how I was going for 100 percent wrong scripture citations and we moved on.
…To the third wrong citation. My phrase about the King of Righteousness was in the previous verse. And I could not stop laughing at myself. “Why am I up here teaching instead of you all who can find the verses?!” I was thinking. “This is a great game though. See if you can find the verse she really meant.” Kind of like those kids’ secret code puzzlers over on the elementary hall, where you break the code and every letter in the “solution” is really two letters off. I started to wonder if I would be able to regain my composure and go on with Hebrews 7. (In the back of my head, I also wondered how such an airhead would possibly be speaking 287 times in Israel in a couple of weeks, put together a live podcast from the Sea of Galilee, complete a lectureship manuscript before leaving, try to counsel a sane person though a failing marriage later in the week, and follow simple recipes to send meals to my in-laws tomorrow…And how’s anybody entrusting the care of a two-year-old to this Mammy?…”Make a note to get all of your loved ones to be sure and be at the web-inar about caring for loved ones with dementia, for sure,” I told myself while moving to the point about how we do not know the genealogy or descent of Melchizedek. Soon I will not know mine either.
And then the bell rang and I forgot…just forgot…to go and get Colleyanna from Bible class. I just proceeded to go right in the auditorium and have a seat. She was a lonely little thing, still sitting there buckled in her little seat just admiring her coloring sheet on a perfectly empty table. “We wondered if you were coming,” the teacher said.
“Oh, you mean this is “pick-up-only’ class?”
I forgot to bring the ice-cream freezer I was loaning to my friend for the youth devo. I forgot to bring the “Awake at Night” book I was giving to another friend. (But fitting title for my week.) I forgot to get the details of my international phone plan for the folks who are helping me do that podcast from the Sea of Galilee. I found myself humming that hymn that ends up with the words “Remember No More.”
Pulling into the parking lot of WalMart late last night, I felt a little like I should not be allowed behind the wheel at all. But there, at the door of WalMart was an ambulance in full flashing-lights mode. I thought about some poor soul that had suffered a stroke or heart attack while in the store. Someone inside had a real problem. I needed to stop and pray for them, take a deep breath, and count my blessings.
Then I noticed wide eyes in the backseat of my SUV and I heard a little voice from the carseat behind me “Look Mammy! Maybe there’s a kitty stuck in a tree.”
Count your blessings while you can still count. But then again, none of us can count that high!