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By:  F. Kong

A girl from the Midwest made a trip to Hollywood, California to see the sights and hopefully to catch a glimpse of a real move star. One afternoon, she visited Beverly Hills and went into an ice cream shop to get an ice cream cone. She put in her order and then suddenly realized that the person standing next to her at the counter was none other than Paul Newman. She couldn’t believe it! Her heart leaped. But she tried to keep her composure. She didn’t want to act like an ignorant hillbilly. She didn’t want to embarrass herself in front of someone like Paul Newman. So she tried not to stare or show any emotion. She paid the cashier, turned, and walked calmly out of the store.

When she got outside, she took a deep breath and suddenly realized that she had walked out of the store without her ice cream cone. Oh no! She must have left it on the counter. Now she was going to have to go back in and get her ice cream cone in front of Paul Newman! She just couldn’t do that!

So she decided to wait outside the store until Mr. Newman had left the counter. When she noticed he was no longer there, she walked back into the store to retrieve her ice cream cone. But when she got to the counter, she felt a tap on her shoulder from behind. She turned around… It was Paul Newman! Flashing his famous smile, he said, “Miss, if you’re looking for your ice cream cone… you put it in your purse.”

No matter how hard we try, we all end up looking pretty foolish from time to time. We can try to look “cool” or totally in control, but down deep we struggle with fears, worries, lack of confidence, low self-esteem. And sometimes we let those things drag us down and keep us from experiencing all that God wants for us.

The work place carries with it tremendous pressures from day to day. We face an endless barrage of work assignments, quotas to fill, endless deadlines and I don’t care how brilliant a worker you are, because some time in your life you will have to face a real nasty situation and be embarrassed with the outcome. I’ve had mine too.

Just recently I came home from an exhausting trip abroad, couldn’t have time to go home but landing in our international airport, my car took me to the domestic airport where I should catch another plane for Davao. After 3 more exhausting days of work I came home, fatigued, nursing a flu and decided to rest the following day. Forgetting all along that I was scheduled to speak that same day, an engagement I committed some 2 months ago. So embarrassing and so humiliating.

I guess the question is: “How do we handle an embarrassing situation?” Do we keep up a front, defensively protect our self-image and try to argue our way out of that particular predicament? Frankly if we do all these, things become more complicated. Trust and confidence is destroyed because the response is totally dishonest.

The Word of God counsels us to let go of our pride and face the truth head on. Ask for an apology, ask for forgiveness. Repair any damages that may have occurred and determine never to allow a similar incident from happening again.

Embarrassment is difficult because it touches the pride aspect but being truthful and honest is easier than putting a mask and pretending to be perfect at all times. Being a diligent worker who serves with meekness and humility is always better than showing aggression and insensitivity. Always remember this: The world can forgive a person who has erred but it cannot stand anyone who pretends to be perfect.

There is only One who is Perfect and He even washed the feet of his disciples. (A pretty embarrassing thing for some people I may say.) He was God, yet he was kneeling down and doing the job of a slave.

We may look pretty foolish sometimes as Christians, but in God’s eyes, we are not fools, we are simply like Christ!


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