I’ve become convinced that he creates certain of his beloved humans solely for his entertainment. And I’m quite certain I’m one of those channels he flips to when he needs a good laugh.
Clumsy is an understatement. I’ve got more scars than any two men combined, and all from ridiculous things like walking into walls and tripping over chairs…or spilling boiling water down my leg.
Don’t ask, it’s a long story.
If the clumsiness were the only thing it might be something I could live with, but God also put this mechanism in between my brain and my mouth that takes over control from time to time so that words that come out of my mouth have nothing to do with the words that were in my brain a split-second before.
Take my first stint as an MC for Group Workcamps Foundation (www.groupworkcamps.com) this summer. I’ve spoken hundreds of times to large groups and small groups, so it wasn’t a big deal being on stage in front of a crowd. I knew what I was supposed to say for each night of the week and I felt confident in presenting the material. But for some reason I was tense.
Upon retrospect I attribute the tension to a desire to be outstanding. It was my first workcamp, one of my first chances to make an impression for Group, and most importantly—my responsibility to lead these 400 teenagers to a deeper understanding of Christ.
I was serious about my job that week.
Of course, God was feeling anything but serious that week. He had it in mind to get a good laugh, and the station was tuned to me.
The first night the power went out.
The second night, as I was giving directions to the Care Card rack, I explained that it was “at the intersection of the girl’s hall and the ball’s hall…boy’s hall.” It’s very hard to continue what you’re saying when 400 teenagers are laughing at you.
The third night my voice started to go out. Unlike most people who simply can’t speak very loud when their voice goes out, I tend to revert to puberty. That’s right, my voice squeaks. I actually controlled it quite well for almost the entire program, but then when I was praying at the end of the program and I said the words “We love you Jesus,” the word “love” came out about three octaves higher than the other words. Snickering and giggling ensued.
The fourth night I forgot to wash the mud off of my forehead after an activity we did in the program and numerous pictures were taken of me with the kids afterwards. I wondered at the time why so many teenagers wanted pictures with me that night…I’ve since discovered, now that they’ve emailed me copies of the pictures, that it was because I had a big blob of mud on my forehead.
There were a number of other embarrassing moments throughout the week, but I think you get the picture: God had a good laugh.
You know what, though? I’m glad he did, because it taught me something invaluable:
Don’t take yourself so seriously.
I was so tense on the first and second day because I wanted everything to be perfect—I was serious about serving God. I forgot to let God take control. Through a series of misadventures God slowly revealed to me that He’s in control and He’s a lot less worried about the serious side of things than we are.
“Lighten up, man!” I could almost hear him saying as the kids were laughing at me after the “ball’s hall” comment. And I did. I “let go and let God,” as I’ve heard it said before.
I hope you can learn to do the same before God chooses to humble you through humor. Trust me, it’s embarrassing.
Chris Roberts is Associate Editor for Group Magazine, and is a 6-year youth ministry veteran. You can contact him at croberts@GroupPublishing.com.Subscribe now to Group Magazine.