We’ve all had awkward moments:
- In 8th grade, I threw up a beautiful shot … in the wrong basket.
- I was asked to officiate at a funeral for a person I did not know. The funeral director gave me the wrong name that I promptly used throughout the service.
- In my first wedding, I solemnly switched a key phrase – Instead of “What God has joined together …” I began with “What God has torn asunder.”
You’ve had them, too.
- Perhaps you burst out laughing at a funeral.
- Perhaps you began to sing loudly when no one else had started.
- Perhaps the person you asked out for a date thought you were kidding.
- Perhaps your boss sent you a friend request on Facebook.
- Perhaps you’re Steve Harvey and you announce the wrong winner at the Miss Universe pageant.
- Perhaps you’re Brooke Shields in a public announcement spot: “Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.”
- Perhaps you’re Dan Quayle, who began a speech at NASA: “My fellow astronauts …”
Awkward, embarrassing, hard-to-recover-from moments of life happen. You hope people around you are kind, understanding, and compassionate … or not. When I returned to school after my goof at the basketball game, one of my coaches was waiting to christen me with a new nickname – “Wrong Way Wilbanks.” Tough for a 13 year-old boy to handle.
We should strive to show more grace in the awkward moments. You won’t meet a person who hasn’t stumbled or blown it or messed up. Jesus had a way of dealing with such things: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”
A sign of a maturing person – if everybody’s laughing, you might as well join in. It may lessen the sting a bit.