Wednesday, May 7, 2008


In moments of quiet repose do you ever reflect on times past that you made a total ass of yourself? And then at the mere memory of the thing, do you yearn for a paper bag to slide over your head?

I do.

This morning, while doing my hair—which is when I get my best thinkin’ done—I recalled an opening prayer I once gave at a school-wide talent event at BYU-Hawaii. (I was going to say “invocation” but I thought it too lofty for one such as myself. I don’t give invocations. I say the prayer.)

In said prayer, I used the word efficacious. I didn’t use it wrong, per se, I used it dumb. (And truly, can you tell me any, any at all, instance where using the word efficacious in a prayer could make sense or be necessary? Me neither.) As soon as the word escaped my lips and floated into the microphone to be broadcast through the entire arena, I wished for that paper bag. Once I uttered Amen and the onlookers echoed, I rushed offstage, red-faced, and trying to remember where I had been sitting before I waltzed upstage to make an idiot of myself.

. . . Maybe no one noticed. Maybe no one heard. Maybe no one knew that I did a dumb job of implementing that word . . .

I settled back into my chair as the emcee, the jerk who asked me to say the prayer in the first place, announced the first act of what would prove to be an agonizing talent show. He talked, and the friend that had accompanied me to the event—a fellow tutor at the Reading/Writing Center—leaned over and whispered “Efficacious?”

Someone noticed. Someone heard. Someone knew that I did a dumb job of implementing that word.

Now public-prayer-phobic, I silently plead with the Lord as the Bishopric roams the chapel, chatting before sacrament meeting, that one of them won’t stop to ask me if I’ll be the one to invoke the spirit on behalf of all attendees. My choices: go to hell for saying that I won’t do it or find a new level of my own personal hell when I get up to the pulpit and spit some stupidity into the waiting mic or at the very least mentally revisit my idiocy of yore.

Does anyone have a paper bag I can borrow?


cat+tadd=sam said...

FYI: Of course I had to look up that word.

Andrea said...

ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Just Sue said...

Heavenly Father knew what you meant.