Can't You Find It?
"If any of you are embarrassed over me . . . when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, . . ."
Peer pressure is intense during high school making it difficult to be identified as a Christian. As a self-conscious sophomore, abhorred with every pimple and constantly checking for bad breath or foul body odor, I wondered, what will my party-loving, dirty-joke-telling classmates think if I bow my head in silent prayer before a meal? Should I drop my napkin and pray on the way up or pretend to have a one-minute headache?
This was the dilemma I faced when traveling with seven classmates selected from my high school for All-State Chorus and Orchestra. Arriving in Huron, South Dakota the night before the two days of rehearsal, we went to a small coffee shop to get a quick bite to eat. Though the place was nearly empty, the waitress was slow getting to us and seemed overwhelmed and confused as we placed our orders. “A hamburger and a coke for me,” I said, hungry enough by this hour to chew on the menu.
After a long wait, she brought our food and served me first placing the hamburger and coke in front of me. I lifted the top half of the bun and gazed with amazement at a burnt, shriveled piece of meat less than half the size of the bun—the smallest hamburger I had ever seen. She turned to serve the other side of the table, and I bowed my head to say a silent prayer over this burnt offering. The waitress had obviously never had a customer bow in prayer before their meal, and she turned back, saw my head bowed over the shriveled, puny-sized hamburger, and asked with total sincerity, “What’s the matter honey? Can’t you find it?”
Side-splitting laughter erupted breaking the tension of the moment and relieving my awkwardness at praying before my meal. Praying silently before a meal in a public setting was never a dilemma after that.
"If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels" (Mark 8:38 MSG) .
Pastor Dave Beckwith
© 2008 Dave Beckwith