Hedging not the best bet

Tales from the front pew

Nobody likes to look stupid. It’s safe to say, however, that each of us has at least one area in which we are. Stupid, that is.

In my case, it’s directions. I have absolutely no sense of direction. While this proves difficult enough in my own life, it’s even worse for poor souls who ask me how to find something.

They say folks who don’t know how to read go to great lengths to disguise the fact, even to the point of carrying books and newspapers and pretending to be engrossed in the words on the page. I have engaged in similar subterfuge to hide my particular problem.

When I was a teenager and some unsuspecting motorist stopped me on the street to inquire where the nearest 7-11 was located — we lived out west at the time — I’d shrug my shoulders and say, “I’d like to help you but I just moved here. In fact, I’m not totally sure how to find my own house.” Sadly, that last part was true.

Now that I’m older, I’ve stopped outright lying and hit upon a different tactic-hedging. That’s right, hedging. It’s the art of not admitting one doesn’t know something, but rather implying one might.

Take the other day, for example.

I made the mistake of telling someone how to find our church. Granted, since we’re always happy to have visitors, this didn’t seem like a mistake on the surface. The problem was the fact that my faulty directions pretty much ensured we’d never see the guy. It went something like this:

“Hello?”

“Yes, is this Colonial Hills Baptist Church?”

“Actually, this is the pastor’s house. I’m Kim, his wife. Can I help you with something?”

“Yes, ma’am. My family and I will be traveling through your area and we were looking for a Baptist church to attend on Sunday. A friend of ours remembered stopping by your church a year or so ago, but couldn’t recall the exact location. I was hoping you could help me.”

“Of course! I’d be happy to help you.”

“Great! We’ll be coming from the turnpike and heading south into Bedford. What I need to know is, do I keep heading south or do I take a different exit that’ll put me on a more direct path?”

“Well, uh, sure. You could take a different exit if you’d like. I mean, hey, you’re the driver. The way I see it, it’s pretty much up to you.”

“But which exit will get me there?”

“Hopefully whichever one you choose. We’re on Lincoln Highway.”

“Okay, so once I reach the turn-off to Lincoln Highway, do I go right or left?”

“Absolutely. In fact, if you don’t turn right or left you’ll plow into the hillside and never make it to church at all.”

“Uh, thank you ma’am. I’ll be praying for you.”

What can I say? Hedging isn’t always 100 percent successful. Yep, we try real hard to not look stupid.

Some folks never turn to the Lord because they’re afraid of what others will think or say about them.

Missing out on heaven –now that’s stupid.

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