Sometimes life brings us moments we would love to have erased from our memory banks right when they occur. Embarrassing episodes can almost paralyze a person’s self confidence for days, weeks, and sometimes years. But I’m here to tell you that embarrassing moments can actually help a person develop perseverance and maturity every time they happen.
I never purchased my chocolate malts with a lid on them, because I always used the long, red spoon to scoop out the ice cream from the side of the cup. So, as I let my body actually steer the bike down the road, I held the cup with one hand and retrieved spoonfuls of the treat for consumption with the other hand. Life couldn’t get much better for a thirteen-year-old – a sunny day, ice cream, and the freedom to ride my bike all over the town of Dyer, Indiana!
I never saw the horrifying and embarrassing moment coming. It all started with a house fly. I’m not sure why they call them house flies, since they so often escape the confines of houses and venture out into wide open spaces. This particular house fly crashed into my forehead and appeared to back flip into my chocolate malt.
My first thought was that this couldn’t be happening. What were the odds? Why was God punishing me like this? If the fly had truly landed in my malt, I would have to find a garbage can and throw out something that tastes so delicious.
My second thought was that maybe the fly hadn’t actually landed in my cup. Staring down into the cup, and using my spoon to search for the fugitive house fly, I was now riding my bike down the street with no hands on the handle bars and no eyes upon the road. It really seemed like no big deal at the time.
Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, the world turned upside down. It was quite a strange sensation to be upright one second and upside down the next. I also noticed a sensation of weightlessness. This was followed by the feeling of a giant object slamming into my back. “What in the world is happening?” I wondered.
After catching my breath – the large object that slammed into my back had knocked the wind out of me – I glanced around to see where I was. I don’t know how many people have actually found themselves on the hood of a parked Trans Am without knowing exactly how you got there, but just so people know, it is quite a shock.
So there I laid, my feet on the windshield, my arms at my side, my head near the front bumper, the sun shining down on my face, my malt running down the fender of the expensive, red car, and a large house fly cleaning himself off and preparing to take flight.
“How completely embarrassing,” I thought, “I sure hope no one saw that.”
“Hey, what the heck are you doing!” a voice from nearby yelled. “That’s my car!”
Jumping off the car, I watched the fly leave the scene of the crime. An older teenager stood in front of me now, screaming, threatening me, checking his car for damage, and clenching his fists. I tried to explain what happened, but it was even hard for me to believe I had been so stupid.
I wanted to get back on my bike and ride away as fast as I could, but I knew I had to clean off the guy’s car and continue apologizing, so that’s what I did. Eventually, the Trans Am owner was satisfied with my efforts to make things right, and I went on about my business. I’ve really despised house flies every since that day, and I now keep the lids on my chocolate malts.
These days, when things don’t go my way, I remember just how embarrassing it was to find myself on the hood of that parked Trans Am. Had I been watching where I was going, had I had my hands on my handle bars, and had I kept a lid on my DQ cup, I could have avoided this embarrassing moment in my life.
I believe God allows us to experience moments like these to teach us humility and maturity. As people get older, their ability to accept that they are human, that they will make mistakes, and that others may not live up to the expectations we have of them, grows stronger.
Many other embarrassing moments have come my way, and I have dealt with them and moved on. I believe they have made me a better and more understanding person. They have also brought smiles and enjoyment to those people blessed enough to have experienced some of my biggest blunders.