When Human Moments Feel Like Mess Ups


I went to see my favorite comedian, Tim Hawkins, live, as a birthday present four years ago. I went up to meet him after the show and get his autograph. During the show, I’d noticed he has a tattoo on his forearm, and I told myself to remember to ask about it, because I was curious. But I was nervous, so I forgot. My parents and I were last in line. I got his autograph, said thank you, and was about to leave. But then I suddenly remembered I was going to ask about the tattoo. So, I ran back over to him and blurted, “TIM!…..I mean, Mr. Hawkins! Can I ask about your tattoo?”

My favorite musician, Cutter Gage, came to lead worship at my church last year. I went with my parents to pick him up at the airport. Waiting in the parking lot, I had nothing to do but overthink what I was going to say when I met him. Finally, he came through the front doors, and every plan I had got scattered in my brain. He sat in the front passenger seat of the car, looked back at me and said, “Hi! It’s nice to finally meet you.”
And how did I respond back? “Yeah.”

I’ve had so many moments in my life when I’ve felt like I completely messed up a situation with my awkward nervousness/excitedness. Whenever I look back on them, I can’t help cringing and thinking “That was just ridiculous. I should’ve done better. I should’ve…” The list of things I, in retrospect, obviously should have done is endless. And I can do nothing about it but think. That’s all.

These, and several other moments in my life, seem to be permanently filed away in my “things I messed up” file. I can try to put a positive spin on them, but they seem to always go back to being the time I messed up. The time I had a chance, a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I blew it.

But lately I’ve been realizing, there is more to those moments than messing up. I was just too caught up in the thought that I blew it to see that.

I was so caught up in the mess up that I didn’t realize that I made Tim Hawkins, my favorite comedian, laugh because of my excitement.

I was so caught up in the mess up that I forgot that, at church the next day, I was able to talk to my favorite musician normally. (Well, okay, I was still starstruck. But I did do better.)

Now, on this New Years Eve, I can look back on those and other moments in my life, and say I didn’t mess up. I was just being human.


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