Amiss (1,139)

May 7th, 2011

Deerwood, Minnesota. About what you’d expect. It’s Minnesota, deer (yes, I saw one) woods as far as the eye can see and a population of a little over five hundred souls.

I arrived at the SalemLutheranChurch and was greeted by five dynamic gentlemen. I always like to run across men who have not given into the pressures of responsibility by becoming grumpy or by choosing to be overly quiet and cautious because for some reason they are in deep fear of women. These five gentlemen were on their game. They helped me carry in my equipment, we made immediate friends of one another and the evening progressed.

It was a lovely turnout in a small town, sponsored by a pastor with enough confidence to believe that things can get done, but not so much confidence that he becomes obnoxious to those who prefer a bit more afore-planning. I enjoyed the people.

I got to know the local hot-spot gas station, which doubles real well as a restaurant since there are not a lot of eating establishments in the immediate vicinity. Actually, I ended up eating like a fourteen-year-old all day long and now have a stomach grumbling with a bit of discontent over my choices.

It was a tremendous night.

But I would be amiss to tell you about all of these peripheral pieces of information and not mention that on my way up to the stage, in front of the audience, my shoe caught on the lip of the stairs and I fell down—flat on my face.

It was not a very auspicious beginning for my relationship with the audience but before I could get my senses about me and try to figure out how I was going to “rise to the occasion,” I was immediately encompassed by two gentlemen who kindly helped me to my feet. I thanked them and made my way to the piano and continued the show. I had fallen—and I’m not sure I could have gotten up. I was blessed to be surrounded by those who have a heart to care.

Candidly—it’s not fun to do something like that in front of folks. Your mind tends to race about how weak or stupid you look for being so clumsy. No one with any breath of sanity likes to be viewed with pity, either.

Falling is a part of being human. And this was not my first trip-up in life—either physically or spiritually. But I know this to be true—if you haven’t decided long before it happens what you’re going to do when you trip and fall, you will not conquer the moment.

Many years ago I determined in my soul that being weak, making a mistake or showing my backside to the public was not only a possibility but probably inevitable. I trained myself to be unafraid. I taught myself to learn the value of truth and to find areas where I do have tender spots—and instead of denying them, play up my strong areas better to make up for the difference.

So when I fell last night, I wasn’t embarrassed. I wasn’t sad and I didn’t even think I was bruised until I got up this morning and my right knee requested the day off.

What I felt was: “Jonathan Richard Cring, this is one of those things that happens because you’re human, so fall back on your training, laugh at yourself a little bit, and move on and use the good sense and talent that God’s given you.”

Some people are so afraid of falling that they lie—pretending they’ve never landed on their face. That is most unfortunate. One of the ways we create fellowship with other human travelers is by showing exactly how weak we are. No wonder the Bible says “when you’re weak, then you’re strong.”

It is so true.

So I give you my report on Deerwood, Minnesota—which, by the way, I recommend as a nice fishing village by the lake. For after all, it was a fishing village called Capernaum where two thousand years ago a man named Jesus sat down and decided to change the world.

I wish the same luck to you folks at Salem.

Published in: on May 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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