Bruised Ego or Wrecked Moped?
A slightly bruised ego might be better than a fully wrecked moped! I was probably 12 or 13 years old at the time. My dad’s side of the family had all gathered at our house – grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My cousin had brought her new moped over and all my cousins were riding around our front yard and having fun doing so. Inwardly, I was nervous to ride it since I had never been around dirtbikes, four-wheelers or that kind of thing a whole lot. Outwardly, I didn’t want my cousins to know I was nervous. Inevitably, my turn came and I had no choice but to ride that moped fearlessly! And that I did. At first, no problems. Then as I turned around at one end of the yard and headed back toward our driveway, I got a little confused about the gas and the brake. And remember that all of the family was over so the driveway was full of cars. I was in trouble as I was accelerating toward those cars. Well, I can’t run into their cars and I’m not going to be able to stop so I need to turn right or left. One direction was favorable and the other not favorable. If I turned right, I would miss the cars and would have a little more room to stop before getting to the road. Sure, I might run into the large evergreen there, but that wouldn’t be so bad. Well, I didn’t make the best choice – right. As I turned left, the real problem presented itself – a 4 ft. deep flowerbed and then the house with a large picture window in the living room area directly aligned with the driveway. Fumbling for the brake but still failing to execute I goosed the engine and sped toward the house! I did manage to miss the cars to my right and a fence to my left. That would be a great accomplishment except for what happened next. All of my bystander family was trying to help by yelling, “no” and some other directions I couldn’t understand. Inevitably, in the next moment, my front tire hit the railroad tie separating the driveway and flowerbed. The moped and I went airborne then came to an abrupt stop as the front headlight and handle bars smashed into the bottom framing of the window. Because I maintained my grip on the handles, the bike momentum stopped but I literally pivoted upside down almost like someone intentionally does in gymnastics on the high bar – only this was obviously quite unintentional. Maintaining my grip still, I fell back down onto the bike and then slumped to the ground. Those in the front yard came running to me. Also, those who witnessed the event through the picture window in the living came as well. I don’t recall their reaction as much as my utter embarrassment as I laid on the ground beside the moped. In that moment, as I laid there I realized I had a bruised ego, a battered body, and a broken moped! If I had made another choice, I would have only had one of those! Proverbs 11:2 says, “pride comes before a fall.” According to Oxford Dictionary, pride can be defined as, “the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.” Pride comes in other forms other than just the outrageous arrogance we often think about. Anytime we place higher value on ourselves, our needs, or our ego at the expense of others, we’re walking in pride. It can look like being silent to avoid an awkward but appropriate conversation. It can be not going to someone to ask forgiveness for the way you offended them. It can be having the ability and opportunity to help someone but not doing so because it would be inconvenient. All of those years ago, I valued my ego above my cousin or her moped. Moving forward, let’s choose a bruised ego over a wrecked moped!