Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)
TITLE: Correcting My Oops Moments
By Michael Joshua
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As he raced around me, cutting back in front of me, I raised my hand and made a circular motion with my index finger toward him.
From the back seat, I heard my grandson say, “Grandpa, what does that (imitating the motion) mean?”
I told him it was the way grownups say “nana nana boo boo” – but I was thinking how I wished I could take it back. Too late for that.
An employee came to my office with a question and I didn’t even look up. I was busy and though he knew I was aware of his presence, I let him stand there, ignored.
When I finally looked up, he had gone.
Why had I done that? I was thinking how I wished I could take it back. Too late for that.
I took my grandson to a fun night at his school where they held a dance contest. He spent 90 minutes running around the perimeter of the gym, dragging me with him, and throwing himself down on the floor, flopping like a fish. When the winners of the dance contest were announced, he was broken-hearted. “Why did the bigger kids win? I wanted to win the dance contest.” I told him, “But you weren’t dancing.”
“But I was dancing, grandpa,” he cried.
He thought what he was doing qualified as dancing, I was thinking how I wished I could take it back. Too late for that.
As I drove into the fast food parking lot, a woman pulled out in front of me. I mouthed, “Moron.” She saw me and was noticeably upset.
I thought – who knows what kind of day she had experienced, and I just made it worse.
She did not direct her rudeness specifically at me, but I directed my rudeness toward her, I was thinking how I wished I could take it back. Too late for that.
I told my grandson that grownups should not say “nana nana boo boo.” I told him I was wrong to do that, it was rude.
I went to the warehouse to find the employee who had stood in my office doorway. I told him that I was sorry that I didn’t respond to him and asked him what he needed.
I asked my grandson to dance with me, to show me his moves that he was doing on the dance floor. He wore me out, but we had a great time.
I prayed that the Lord would touch the heart of the woman I had called a name. Although I could not identify her, he knew who she was.
I apologized to Jesus for my ‘oops’ moments, and each one I mentioned brought one more to mind. It took a long time, and brought tears to my eyes. I was surprised at how I had behaved so many times.
My heart ached for my insensitive actions, both intentional and unintentional. I asked the Lord to help me be more aware of what I said and how I said it.
When I got up from my knees, I patted my dog, kissed my wife and made a phone call to my mom. Sometimes, the best way to avoid an ‘oops’ moment is to not give them an opportunity to arise.
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