A good friend and avid dog lover, upon relocating to Dallas, made an appointment with a new veterinarian to update his two dogs' vaccinations. The appointment date arrived, and he wheeled his doggies up to and into the clinic, which was located at the end of a strip mall.
The company of three seated themselves in a crowded, and strangely dogless, waiting room. The receptionist smiling much more than necessary, said, "Name please?" Our friend, eager to make a good impression answered formally, "This is Mabel June and Mo here for their shots."
The receptionist, now unable to suppress a giggle, said, "Sir this is a dental office. The vet clinic is in the next block."
Whereupon our friend quipped, "Well, since we are here, could you clean their teeth?" Amid sympathetic snickers and outright laughter, he made an awkward retreat toward the exit.
Have you ever said something or done something that you wish you hadn't? Sure you have. All of us have, and our minds take the liberty of reminding us all too often.
Fortunately we are not in the political spotlight. Politicians' blunders are made sport of all over the late-night television circuit, and also cussed and discussed on the news. Possibly Dan Quayle was ridiculed the most. We remember Dan Quayle as the vice-president who taught the world how not to spell potato, with an "e" at the end, at a spelling bee in 1992.
President George Bush's made-up words often made headlines. Because of that the Saturday Night Live coined the word "strategery" for one of their skits of him. It seemed to fit. And of course the current President Obama said, "I have now been in 57 states." Yes, he said 57. It's hard to forget such moments, especially when the news media records and reminds us.
The only person I have to remind me of occasional embarrassing moments is myself, and I have to admit I still blush at the thought of a few. Like when our family of 7 sat down in the third row from the front at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Westfall. The bulletin dropped from my lap onto the floor. I quickly bent forward to retrieve it and whacked my forehead on the pew in front of me. Why didn't I see that coming? And how many others noticed and suppressed giggles?
Or the time I walked into K-Mart in Salina on a rainy day. My feet flew forward and my seat landed firmly on the hard, wet floor. Why is it the first thing one does is look around and see if anyone is looking?
I heard about a woman who asked someone what her sister's name was and then absent mindedly replied, "Oh she was the pretty one, wasn't she?" Oh, to be able to push the "delete" button on misspoken words.
Page 2 of 2 - Having done or said something is one thing. But being reminded of it mentally is another. What do we do with thoughts that remind us of our past failures and social blunders?
Recovery from gaffes comes when we do what the Bible says, to forget the past and to "press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Living in the past robs us of blessings available today. Likewise, thinking of the future also robs us of the present. Worrying or imagining how something will turn out is pointless. I'm wondering, has anything ever turned out the way we imagined it?
Our God is the God of today, of the present day. He is the Great I Am, present tense. He created today for you to enjoy. If the mind dwells on the past or the future, today could slip by virtually unappreciated.
I've noticed children know how to enjoy the present. They make everything fun. Dogs and cats don't regret the past or worry about the future. Someone asked, 'Have you ever seen a cat with insomnia worrying about what was going to happen tomorrow?"
I guess my message is to notice where your thoughts are. Everyone makes mistakes, but we don't have to nurse or rehearse our mistakes or those of others. How about enjoying today on purpose! Perhaps by living in the present on purpose we can forget past mistakes and also eliminate any accidental bad memories for the future.
Anna Folkerts is a resident of McPherson.