For seventeen years I have been pastoring churches.  For many of those years I have taught countless children’s lessons during services.  Furthermore, for the last five years, I have been pulling items out the Mystery Bag and developing spontaneous lessons without any problem.  That was, until yesterday.

For those who are unaware of what we do at NorthHaven, instead of a traditional Children’s Sermon during the service we offer the children an opportunity to bring something special to them and place it into the Mystery Bag.  The Mystery Bag, my old seminary satchel, is taken home by the children and brought back with something unbeknownst to me inside.  During the service, I open the bag to reveal what the child has brought and attempt to come up with a lesson right there on the spot.  It has been a great time for the children and an even better time for the adults when they know I’m stumped.

All has gone swimmingly over the last five years until yesterday.  A child brought a collection of bottle caps and marbles that his grandmother gave him.  They were all secured safely inside large mason jars.  Well, Pastor Mitch really liked the sound the marbles made when they hit the side of the jar.  So, I was showing the other children the marbles and giving them a shake when all of sudden the jar cracked.

It may have been my lowest point ever with the kids.  I felt absolutely horrible.  The young man was extremely gracious telling me it was all right, but I felt like the worst pastor ever.  Not only did I break this little boy’s container, I did it in front of the entire congregation.  Needless to say, the “lesson” took a backseat to the more important lesson of learning to say you’re sorry when something goes awry by your own doing.

For the record, once again, Z I am sooooo sorry!  I owe you one, but thanks for being so understanding, gracious, and Christ-like with your response to my clumsiness.  You, my friend, are one in a million!

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