Have you ever noticed that life is full of victories - followed very closely behind by defeats (unless you are the '07 Patriots). Anyway, I had a little bit of that experience last night. The background was that I'd had a wonderful time this weekend with family & friends celebrating Thanksgiving. My sermon, that I'd been excited to preach for months, until the night before when I was concerned it would fall flat, ended up fairly well. Unfortunately, the following rough sketch happened last night:
the Scene: two people visiting our house, sitting at our kitchen table
Person A: "I hate X people... they're..."
Don: "Whoa...[somewhere in the middle]... racist bigot..."
Person B: "[person A] is getting mad at you..."
Don: "Well, I'm shocked that [person A] would say something like that..."
The dialog continued for awhile. Unfortunately, I didn't realize soon enough that no matter what Person A had said, my words were hurtful and poorly timed. I doubt my apology did much - too late and not empathetic enough. That whole "sometimes you just need to keep your mouth shut and not say what you're thinking" is something I'm STILL working on. It was, yet another reminder that you need to, especially as a pastor, be so careful of what you're doing, when you're doing it, because at any moment you can end up flat on your face - and some of us are better at ending up there than others...