The Words of the McCarthy Family

I’ve only been wrong one time in my ENTIRE life: for a couple of minutes, I once thought I had made a mistake... but I was wrong!

Kevin McCarthy
January 13, 2009

Do you know anybody like that? Hopefully, that person isn’t you. Of course, if that person were you, you would be totally oblivious. You could be in a domed stadium on the 50 yd line filled with 100,000 screaming people all pointing their finger at you and you would just be thinking “it’s rude to point.”

There are actually people on earth that never consider that sometimes they may see circumstances a bit cockeyed. They are never wrong. How they see things are how things are and that’s all there is to it.

Thinking you’re right all the time should be a warning sign... followed by immediate check-in at the nearest rehab center. On the other hand, if that happened there wouldn’t be anyone left to give the sermon on Sunday... oops! (The preceding snide remark is only meant to pertain to Kevin McCarthy... any relevance to any other church leader living or deceased is purely coincidental)

Once, years ago, I was driving my old Volkswagen beetle. It was a steady rain and although I had my wipers on, they were a bit worn and I was having trouble seeing. I was at a stop light waiting to make a left turn. There was a single car in front me also waiting to turn. All of a sudden, inexplicably, the guy in front of me, an obvious idiot, started to back-up straight toward me, picking up speed as he got closer and closer. I leaned on my horn in the last second... but it was too late... BAM!

I shouted a few theological terms interspersed within a quick assessment of the extensive deficiencies in the idiot’s ancestry. I leap from my car, in the pouring rain, to inspect the damage, arms flailing, eyes bulging, informing the idiot, in a loud voice, of the details of his ancestor’s deficiencies; highlighting those involving intermingling with man’s best friend. He just looked at me with an expression of utter confusion, fear and a bit of sort of made me feel how Sasquatch must feel whenever he stumbles upon a bunch of campers.

So, as I see that the guy is somewhat terrorized by my presence and upon closer inspection there was little to no damage to our cars, I just walked away and got back in my old beetle. I restart my car and wait for the light to change… and… CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IDIOT? ... Again, the doddering old fool starts creeping backward and... wait a minute... wait a minute. I push the clutch down to the floor, hit my brake and, well somehow that made the idiot’s car in front of me come to an immediate halt... wait a did I do that?...

Do I have magical powers? ... wait a... uh oh... oh no... wait. Slowly, the thought, the realization came bubbling to the top. Then, in the final second, broke violently to the surface of my consciousness like a Great White chasing a wounded seal... I’M THE IDIOT! ...

Yes, I was the idiot... it had been me all along... it was my foot that was slipping off the clutch pedal and it had been my vehicle moving forward, not the other idiot, I mean, the other gentleman. I had totally misread the situation. What I had perceived to be him moving backward and hitting me, was actually me moving forward and hitting him! I was aghast!

Now I could understand the poor man’s look of fear and wonderment. There I was, Sasquatch’s idiot son, my vehicle rolling forward... my horn car smacking into the back end of his car... jumping out of my car... hopping up and down, bulging eyes, frothing at the mouth, screaming about ancestors!

Years later, I would still think about that... I thought about that for a long time... how did that happen? How could I have thought I was so right when I was so wrong? In fact, not only was I wrong; I was 180 degrees contrary to reality. I was straitjacket wrong! Finally, I began to have some realizations.

This unfortunate event had happened because my viewpoint had been too narrow... too focused from my own position in relation to the back end of his car. All I could see was the distance from him to me and that it was closing, fast. Had I expanded my frame of reference to include a stationary object between me and the other car... I would have been able to immediately sense that I was moving and not him.

It’s the same in life. Going through life with a self-absorbed narrow perspective will, inevitably, lead to unreasonable conflicts... and you will not only be wrong; you will be, as I was, in conflict with reality. We need a proper perspective to accurately assess our position in the universe... a spiritual GPS.

Sometimes when there is a disagreement between two, a third perspective can be invaluable. It can come from a parent, a spouse, a trusted friend... it can even come from a child. I remember once when I was being a bit too harsh on my, then, 4 year old daughter... she looked up at me, the 240 lbs monster / Father, her tears welling up, lip quivering... she then blurted out... “I’m-going-to-tell-your-Mother!” Now that was some perspective and it changed my tune real fast.

But ultimately the best source of perspective is through prayer... prayer helps you to have a clearer perspective. When we are in touch with God, we can perceive that the world doesn’t revolve around me.

It’s a different frame of reference. We can see who we are, who is in motion and who is standing still. In fact, the next time you have a conflict, ask God to give you a clearer perspective. It could very well help you avoid crashing into others. 

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