Thursday, October 4, 2012

Don't Say It...Don't Say It

 Last night I was reminded all over again about how powerful our words are, how seemingly harmless comments and “funny” jokes can be taken the wrong way and sting the receiver, and how things we’ve said and done have long term effects.

I’ve written pretty extensively about my mishaps, gaffs and downright dumb calls in the past, in fact this whole “Lesson Learned” Series is built on applications I’ve been able to walk away with after messing up in some way.
Well, as I was watching the Yankee game last night, second basemen Robinson Cano was up at the plate and I made a comment that brought back another blast from the past.

I don’t know about you, but I have this little problem that I’ve been working on for years, it’s a little problem that has come up many times in my life. I don’t know if it comes out of immaturity, insecurity or whatever, but often times I will say the first thing that comes to mind.

So, even though on the outside I may look like I’m engaged and participating in the conversation at hand, internally I’m usually ensconced in a virtual grabbing of my tongue with my pointer and my thumb saying “don’t say it, don’t say it.”

To give a little context of what I’m talking about, here is an excerpt from an article I wrote a few years back, that came roaring into my living room at the exact same time that MLB Player of the month Robinson Cano was up to bat…

Have you ever been face to face with a situation where you know you’re burned no matter what you do? A question has been asked, and it is hanging out there just waiting for an answer, an answer that will either make you look good or make you look terrible.

Recently I had a question posed to me by wife at dinner time regarding the meal she spent hours preparing for me and my family. A meal that included; trips to the store with multiple lists, while she braved a winter storm watch, and an incredibly packed market with two less than stellar behaving kids in tow. All in hopes of delivering a meal that would be a home run for me and my family.

I knew she put a lot into it, I knew she had a hard day; I knew that making a meal of that magnitude was the last thing she probably wanted to do. I knew all of these things, but when I was asked the question “so, how do you like the meal?” I froze!

I should have replied with “WOW, Unbelievable, You know honey Emeril just called he wants his skills back!” or something on that scale. I knew the question that was lingering in the air needed a reply worthy of the energy and effort my wife put into the feast that was before me. Again, I knew all of these things, but there’s a difference between what we know and what we do sometimes isn’t there?

So, I paused for a second (which seemed like hours), and gave this simple answer, “Honey, you’re batting 500 with this one.”

Bingo, I nailed it with that reply for sure! I mean, I admit, it was a little shaky at first because when posed the question, I didn’t give an immediate gushing evaluation on the spot.

I took another bite and breathed a sigh of relief; I had successfully evaded the question and didn’t hurt my wife in the process. After all she knew that for a baseball player to hit 500 is an unprecedented feat, it just doesn’t happen. The best players in the league bat around 300, and to even get in the Hall of Fame you have to be a career 300 hitter. To hit 500 was an incredible compliment, wasn’t it?

The table got eerily silent, so silent I could hear the chews and swallows of everyone in my family, especially mine. My wife was hurt by my words, it was obvious. She was expecting “Honey you’re in the hall of fame, batting 1000, hitting a home run every time at the plate, with this one!” And I blew it!

I felt like changing the Subject, BIG TIME!

Ok, so that was a few years back, I made the comment tried to explain what I meant to say, you know it was a compliment and all and we’ve moved on…all is forgiven and forgotten right?


As Robinson Cano was hitting, his average, home runs and RBI totals were flashed on the screen. He has been on fire lately so much so that he's batting like .600 this past month!

His teammates respected his work, his colleagues respected his work, the fans respected his work, even the announcers were like “they should probably pitch around Cano in this situation; you just can’t get him out these days.”

Well, as soon as that was said, in my mind like a bolt of lightning stream lining it’s way to the tip of my tongue were the words “see, Robinson Cano is hitting .390 and he’s the player of the month, and esteemed as one of the great players of his day.  If he keeps this up over the course of his career he could even make the hall of fame, and be named along with the other Yankee greats…you know DiMaggio, Mantle, Ruth, and Gehrig. He’s not even batting .500 and he’s getting all these accolades.”

I thought it and my pointer and thumb were holding tight to my tongue because I didn’t want to bring up the past and insert this little gem into the current situation because I knew that the “funny” I cracked previously about my wife’s cooking wasn’t worth repeating.

I was wrestling back and forth, back and forth saying “don’t say it ,don’t say it” then all of a sudden I lost the grip on my tongue and like a freight train my little tid-bit of knowledge came roaring into the room, and there it was for all to see. In a split second I said…

“See, Robinson Cano is hitting .390 and he’s the player of the month, and esteemed as one of the great players of his day.  If he keeps this up over the course of his career he could even make the hall of fame, and be named along with the other Yankee greats…you know DiMaggio, Mantle, Ruth, and Gehrig. He’s not even batting .500 and he’s getting all these accolades.”

What was I thinking? Why did I say it? I knew it would just bring up an “old wound” but I said it anyway.

My wife is a huge Yankee fan as well, and as we were both sitting there watching the game she swung her neck in my general direction and gave me a look I thought I would never forget but apparently I did since it was the same look I got a few years back when I inserted my other baseball analogy in response to her cooking.

I felt awful about my comment, but now I had another issue to deal with. My daughter was also watching the game and when she heard what I said and saw how her mommy glared me down, she was like “what does that mean, and why is mommy glaring at you?”

Now, honestly I’m overdramatizing the situation just a tad, but it caused me to pause again last night and today as I wonder why I do what I do, even when I know it could potentially cause pain to me and others.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I need to always be weighing my thoughts and actions against the truths of God’s Word, whenever I “go with my gut” in a situation it’s usually the wrong decision.

James talks alot about our tongue and Paul talks alot about our motives...well, now you know where I’ll be in my personal Bible study times for the rest of the baseball season.

Hopefully by the time the Yankees win their 28th World Series, I will be able to say...

Lesson Learned

 Just for fun...check out this video clip of Tim Hawkins' advice for things you don't say to your wife...Oh, yeah and GO YANKS!

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