Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SLIP OF THE TONGUE (01/26/17)
- TITLE: Mouth in Gear, Brain in Neutral
By Robyn Harbour
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‘I’ve done it this time God! Talk about mouth in gear and brain in neutral. My slip of the tongue has sent me over the cliff into a dark abyss. There is no way I can climb out of this deep hole.
God, Betty and I were so thrilled that our friend Harma is able to go and see her family in the Netherlands. She left 30 years ago, married, saw her three children grow up and went through the pain of losing her husband. The money her elderly aunt left her is just enough to allow her to have this trip to see family and friends she left so long ago.
I really thought it a good idea to ask her to come forward for prayer to night. I wanted to bless her. I asked for my wife, and the elders’ wives to come forward to join me in prayer. A simple request really.
Frank, bless his heart, is slightly deaf, and at least the other side of eighty. He heard the word ‘elder’ and didn’t hear that it was his wife I had called. He meekly followed Gwen out to the front.
That is where the first ‘slip’ happened. Don’t ask me where it came from, before I knew it I had said ‘frank wants to travel in Harma’s suitcase.’ Very unsuitable of me, he is a married man, fancy suggesting he wanted to go with her.
God! I should have shut my mouth firmly at that point, taken a breath and started to pray. But you know me God, mouth in gear, brain in neutral. Don’t ask me where the words came from, believe me, I did not even think them. The first I heard them was when my mouth opened and they spilled out, actually they tumbled out one after the other. ‘Frank thinks he is a transvestite!’ I don’t think I’ve ever even said that word before. Help! What is happening to my brain, in neutral, more like brain dead I think.
The silence was deafening. I swallowed, prayed some sort of prayer, dismissed the meeting and ran out the back door of the church. I got home before Betty and have been in the study ever since. She must be really mad. Betty told me that one day my tongue would slip too far and do me some serious damage.’
I can just see the newspaper headline. Wife kills husband for slip of tongue! I sure she feels like it.
I expect I will get a phone call from one of the elders asking for my resignation or something far worse.
Help me God! I can see no way out of this one.’
In the stillness a still small voice replied. ‘My son, all is not lost! Your many tongue slips during Sunday’s sermons have brought amusement to many. Your people love you just the same. Don’t worry about the embarrassment. Tonight you have brought laughter and joy to many. The story of tonight’s slip will be told time after time at your expense.
I suggest a good dose of the Book of James, and a practical exercise for you to do each time you open your mouth to speak. Take a deep breath and wait for your brain to catch up to your tongue before you speak and all will be well. Remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.’
‘Thankyou God!’ Brian whispered. He stood up and walked out of the study ready to face whatever Betty threw at him.
‘Have you been in your study all that time? You poor darling! You really did it this time didn’t you? I have never laughed so much as I did tonight. If you had stayed after the meeting you would have seen and heard the laughter, even old Agnes was smiling and you know how grim she looks most of the time
Barry relaxed, perhaps things were not so bad after all. He definitely would take God’s advice and put it into practice. ‘Read the book of James and take a deep breath to allow the brain to catch up with the tongue.’
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