Don’t overreact to silly mistakes

Not too long ago, our son, Matt, was the acolyte. His job was to light Christ candle, and the two candles on the communion table for worship. He did it with style.

After taking the lighter thingy to the narthex of the church, he took up a post in the back of the sanctuary near the sound board. My wife, Kim, and I really didn’t think much about it because Matt would never touch or mess with the dials. Though I finally caught his eye and Matt came and sat next to my while his mom led worship.

During passing of the peace, we all greeted one another and Matt ended up in the back once more. But again, we didn’t worry about him touching anything. He knew better. So, during the hymn “The Wonderful Cross” (third verse — I remember clearly), all of a sudden, the booming “feed-back” was so loud, it made everyone jump, especially Kim. Matt’s eyes got real big and he quickly moved back whatever lever he had just pulled on that oh so tempting sound board.

Mom was mad. But, mom was leading worship, so she had to get over it. Dad was mad. But, everyone, I mean everyone, was watching dad to see what he would do. So he had to get over it, well, almost over it!

Everyone else at worship, it seemed, thought it was funny. I’m sure that was because it was our kid and not theirs. So, by the time we got home, we had cooled off, but still needed to address what happened.

Knowing that Matt had jumped as high as the rest of us, Kim looked at Matt and said, “I have a feeling that that will never happen again.” “Yeah, never.”

Then simultaneously we all noticed a wall hanging that Matt and Kim had found while on a road trip:

IN THIS HOME…

We do SECOND CHANCES…

We do GRACE…

We do REAL…

We do MISTAKES…

We do I’M SORRY…

We do LOUD real good…

We do HUGS…

We do FAMILY…

We do LOVE.

So, that made us think of the Apostle Paul’s words:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Paul wasn’t just talking to brides and grooms. He was talking to the Christian community — whether that takes the form of a congregation, a married couple, or a family of varied type or size. Love (which comes from God) should color everything we do, even our reactions to loud, silly mistakes.

The Rev. Steve Nofel is co-pastor of Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church.