The Funniest Thing God Ever Saw

Okay.

I don’t know if it was actually the funniest thing God ever saw, EVER EVER, but… it was pretty funny.

Many years ago I was on staff at a large church in Omaha, Nebraska. At this time, there were about 10 pastors and 12 board members (sometimes called deacons, sometimes called elders) and we met monthly in the evening at church for the elders board meeting. In the board room, there was a very large table where we all sat and ran through the evening’s agenda. Needless to say, these meetings could grow tiresome fairly quickly.

Thankfully, there were a number of pastors on staff with a sense of humor. Especially humorous was the singles pastor (Pastor Les) and my boss the senior youth pastor (Pastor Ty). I was the assistant youth pastor to Ty. Ty and Les were (and still are) two of the funniest guys I have ever known. We were all in our twenties or early thirties. Les seemed to have the number of our normally stoic and cool Counseling Pastor (Pastor Steve). On many long board meetings, Les would simply glance at Steve, and Steve just could not keep from cracking up. This was especially fun to observe while the older pastors and elders went on oblivious to the hilarious moments.

One night, Pastor Steve went to his office during the break. Les and Ty decided to scare the always unflappable and perfectly groomed Steve, and they told me to watch from the office window. The Counseling Center was actually a very impressive area with full size glass windows all along the hallway. In the front of the Counseling Area, there was a section for counseling children, and on one of the ledges, there were several counseling hand dolls, and stuffed animals used to communicate with kids.

Steve walked all the way back to his office on the opposite end of the children’s area. I watched the next few moments and witnessed possibly the funniest scene I have ever witnessed. I saw Les grab one of the hand dolls and a mask, and Ty grabbed one of the stuffed animals. They hid down behind a couch. Steve walked out of his office, hair freshly combed, and walked back through the children’s area in the dark (but totally observable to me) totally clueless to what he was about to experience. All of the sudden, Les leaped up toward Steve’s face with the doll and Ty jumped out from the couch with his animal and they both growled “Yyyaaaarrrrggghh!!!” and shouted like wild boars!

Steve looked at the dolls and was immediately frozen stiff! He was in complete shock – so much so that he just looked up at the ceiling and yelled “Eyyyyyahhhhh!” Then he went completely limp, fell to the floor and appeared to be totally unconscious.

Les dropped his mask and doll and Ty dropped his animal and they fell down next to Steve in uncontrollable laughter! Three grown men, Pastors, laid out on the floor! And me? Well I just fell down on the carpet floor outside and laughed till a rib almost cracked.

That moment is forever frozen in my memory, and I have a feeling it always will be.

Cheers till next time!

Jeff

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Risk

Ever been to Vegas?

I have. I don’t gamble. I really don’t like casinos. The entire scene is a tad bit off-putting for me. I like some of the cheap food and the amazing shows. I wouldn’t say my dislike for Vegas has anything to do with strong moral objections. I mean, in every city in the world there are places that most folks would find morally objectionable. On the other hand, we are living in this world and sometimes we find our calling right in the midst of a sinful environment. Jesus expects us to learn how to live a pure and ethically clean life while simultaneously reaching out and being a light to a dark world.

Kind of a tricky deal.

Vegas has taught many people lessons about risk. Yet when you think about it, choices we make every day have an element of risk. When we vote, send our kids to school, apply for a job, join a church, shop for a new or used car, or purchase a home, we are putting ourselves in a position of risk. Life involves risk taking. Even simple things like drivng our car to work involve a certain amount of risk.

When it comes to our faith, we may face choices that involve risking our comfort, reputation or even friendships. Although I greatly dislike being put in a vulnerable position, I also realize that great success cannot occur without stepping out into the unknown. When Jesus told Peter to walk on the water with him, Peter was afraid. I guess I am more like Peter than I want to admit. At least Peter took that first step or two and walked for a few moments.

Maybe it’s time to walk across the neighbor’s pool.

Baby steps.