We get the strangest opportunities and the secret is to be ready. I had just such an opportunity the other day. I was walking up to our little chapel and a friend was waiting for me. He was going to do some much needed cleaning while I did some ‘office work’. I made a dramatic entrance. As I stepped up to our door I did my best “three stooges and a banana peel’ imitation. My feet flew out from under me. I said a quick prayer asking for a temporary repeal of the law of gravity (I received the same old answer, you’d think I’d learn) and landed squarely on the snow covered icy pavement. My friend looked shocked. I think he was most afraid he might have to give me mouth to mouth (we are both grateful this was unnecessary). I took a beat or two to decide I had not shaken anything loose and decided to make the best out of what was a less than good situation. I made a beautiful “Snow Angel”. My friend and I admired it before we went in. He was impressed that I did not react in a negative or loud way and to tell the truth I was a bit taken back as well, for I am entirely capable of a ‘terrible two’-like tantrum. My friend started telling the story and it went ‘viral’ through the community. People have been getting a good laugh at my dignity’s expense. The reason for the story having such ‘legs’ is not that I had a fall, lots of folks have been having falls, it was the snow angel that made the story worth my friend’s telling.
I have been learning a lesson for the past number of years which came in handy. “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” Several years ago my bride helped me with this one. As I lay in a hospital bed with a shattered jaw, on her first visit to me she brought a book on ventriloquism. Over the next months I practised and did a routine at a huge Christmas Banquet. I still one of the dummy’s lines “Do you know what the church and the McKenzie Delta have in common? They are both frozen at the mouth!”
Life does hand us lemons and we can have tantrum or we can make an opportunity to display the difference God is making in our lives. My friend is a bit in awe of my reaction and he rightly attributes it to my faith. Having a fit would not have had nearly as positive result.
I did not have a lot of time to think. My reaction in the moment was determined by my frame of mind before I fell. Success in witness is often not about a moment in time but the preparation that goes on beforehand. Now before my wife and other friends begin to fill the comment section, I want to fully declare that I have not and do not always react so positively. I am on a journey. I am growing, and I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to join me on a journey where we allow God to turn the sour to the sweet just as surely as He turned water into wine.
This dramatic pratfall provided an opportunity for a conversation which I believe may have significant consequences for both of us.
I am going to be flying to Edmonton to visit friends and supporters and will be going ‘unplugged’. I’ll be back with my Friday blog on the 14th.