A few weeks ago I "fell", but it wasn't on the ice.
It was right after a long night of rehearsing with the band the eve before the big SOAR conference where I led worship. Ruth Graham was to be one of the keynote speakers at a mega church in Lancaster, PA. I was excited to have the band with me.
We worked hard for a couple of hours and worked up quite an appetite. I decided to treat them all to dinner. Between the band and their wives, there were 6 of us.
The waitress finally took our order. Before she left our table however, she began talking non-stop to the drummer something about peppers and how she liked her meat cooked. I found myself getting a bit 'edgy' as she continued to chat. (At least go and put our order in before you continue this long conversation I thought to myself. Then come back and yak all you want.)
You must understand that because I get up at 4:00 a.m. to work in my skating time during the week, I am usually heading to bed around 9:00 p.m. I'm really tired by the end of the day and when you combine that with hunger, exhaustion and non-stop talking by someone you don't know on a late Friday night, that is a perfect set up for a fall. I was now way past my bed time.
I looked her straight in the eye, found a spot when she stopped to take a breath and asked her to please go put our order in. "I'm hungry", I said.
She quickly said "I'm sorry" and turned and walked away. I reflected on how good it felt to finally be learning to speak up instead of holding everything in. But before I could finish my thought, the band gave me a stern rebuke and told me I was rude.
They were right.
In fact, the bass player pointed out that it was the drummer who started that conversation, not the waitress.
The next time she came back to the table, I apologized for my rudeness. Fortunately, she accepted my apology but I still felt ashamed of myself. I needed her forgiveness and I needed to forgive myself. It's not that I shouldn't learn to speak up, I just need to make sure it's at the right time in the right way.
I was grateful the band was there to put things into perspective.
Like I said, I wish I would never fall.