Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)
TITLE: A Lesson in Humility
By Mishael Witty
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He was next in line to speak at the internationally televised, interdenominational Creationism conference. As he listened to the conclusion of the Seventh Day Adventist pastor’s talk on the Sabbath, he felt gas churning through his intestines.
He bent over, leaned his elbows on his knees, and looked down at the front row of the audience. His wife was not even looking at him. Did she know about the war waging in his bowels? Did she know how right she had been when she advised him not to overdo the fiber this morning?
He tried to distract himself by focusing on the beginning words of his speech. He gripped his Bible and felt the moisture of his hands against the aged leather.
‘Start with scripture. God’s word is powerful,’ he thought. ‘Oh, God. You know how critical my participation in this conference is. The public really needs to hear what I have to say. Please help me get through this without making a fool of myself.’
The Seventh Day Adventist took his seat. The moderator returned for the introduction, and the Presbyterian minister hobbled up to the podium. He set his Bible down and flipped it open to Genesis 2. He looked down at his wife, who was staring at him intently, one eyebrow raised. She knew something was wrong. He said another quick prayer for God to save him from total emotional destruction and took a deep breath.
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Brother Mackenzie just finished his sermon with Genesis 2:3. Please continue with me to Genesis 2:7.”
He paused for just a moment to make sure everyone in the audience had time to find the verse. He heard the page rustlings and the soft murmur of the crowd, but none of the audience noises drowned out the sound of his own digestive system gurgling. He prayed that the microphone was not sensitive enough to pick that up.
The minister clenched and began. “Genesis 2:7, in the New International Version, says: ‘The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life-.’”
Just then, the inevitable happened. The minister heard it before he noticed that his own nostrils were being filled with a much more unpleasant odor than the sweet fragrance of God’s breath. His face flushed. Sweat beads broke out on his forehead. He suddenly realized that everyone in the audience heard it, too. All movement and noise stopped. Everyone was waiting to see how he would react.
He looked down at his wife again, and he noticed the hint of a smile flashing back at him. His own mouth began to curl up, and then he was amazed to hear himself laughing.
Laughter filled the auditorium. When it died down, the sermon began again. This time, the preacher did not let his pride get in the way of what God was trying to say.
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