The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. Proverbs 15:2 (NIV)
Tonight, we went to a local history museum for a donor reception. My husband’s boss was a sponsor of an exhibit on motorcycles, and he gave some of the employees tickets. This is not one of “my” museums, but it is one I am familiar with so it was fun to be there after hours and show it off to my husband’s colleagues. After dinner, we went to visit the two manatees that live there and heard about their care. The older one has been in captivity his whole life, while the smaller one was orphaned and is to be transitioned into the wild when he has gained some weight and knows how to eat sea grass from under the water instead of romaine lettuce scattered at the surface. Then, a terrific thunderstorm chased us inside. After viewing the motorcycle display, we wandered around the rest of the museum. I shared with the people we were with some stories about our community’s past and how hard the museum had worked to upgrade their facility. Though I wasn’t an employee, it was nice to be able to use their beautiful museum to teach about our heritage. The rain kept pouring, and since we had traveled on the motorcycle, we were stuck inside for quite a while. That is how I found myself cornered by a woman to whom I would like to make a good impression, but I never can seem to do so. Her attitude, tone and conversation always make me think I just don’t measure up to her standards. All I could think of was, “don’t stick your foot in your mouth.” It made me laugh because just behind her was a huge cast of a shark’s jaw. Actually, it was a megaladon’s jaw, and it is large enough for someone to walk through. The teeth are bigger than my hand. Every time I see it, I remember the story of Jonah and the whale, and I am convinced that the story in the Bible is true. Although, Jonah must have been quite scratched up if he got past those teeth, not once, but twice. While this woman talked, I responded in what I hoped was a semi intelligent manner. Then, it occurred to me, that the best way to keep my foot out of my mouth was to let God take charge of my tongue. After a while, she was done bragging about her job and her life and wandered off to find someone more important than me. I went back to my efforts at educating until the rain slacked up and we could go home. As we rode, I thanked God not only for keeping me from saying something foolish, but reminding me that the only one I really need to impress is Him. If God can put a man in the belly of a whale and cause him to be spit up on dry land, think what He can do with a willing and humble spirit.