This is just too funny not to share with you. But first, does anybody remember that Mac Davis song, “Oh Lord, It’s Hard to Be Humble“?

Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
when you’re perfect in every way.
I can’t wait to look in the mirror
‘cos I get better looking each day.

To know me is to love me
I must be a heck of a man.
O Lord it’s hard to be humble
but I’m doing the best that I can.

God kept me humble today in a very funny way, and as I thought about humbleness this equally funny song came to mind.

The Set-Up

Here’s the set-up. I met a man and his wife a few weeks ago. I did not know them. He says he’s known of me for some years, and it is now time that we met. He invites me to come to his office in the heart of the financial district of Toronto. I discover later that he and his wife have a thriving financial business, support a number of Christian ministries, and are very highly thought of by people whose opinions I greatly respect. So I want to make a good impression and live up to the good image he has of me.

Fast forward to today.

This rube from Elmira ventures into the centre of financial power in Canada.

I go to his office. It is very high up and very elegant. Nice plush chairs, lots of wood, subdued lighting. You get the picture, not ostentatious but pleasant. As I walk into the meeting room, I go to get a pen out of my pocket and realize it is in two pieces. I try to screw them back together in my pocket, but can’t get the pieces together. So I forget about it.

He sat across the narrow table from me.

Blissful Unawareness of Impending Doom

He said some very wise things, and I went into my thinker’s pose, cradling my face in my left hand – resting my chin on my thumb with my forefinger on my cheekbone and my middle finger curled under my lip.

I had an itch under my nose. Surreptitiously I rub my upper lip with the side of my finger.

He asks me a great question, and I take up my pondering pose, with my forefinger and thumb on my chin.

I touched my face a few more times for various and sundry reasons.

His wife comes in to greet me, chats for a few minutes and then leaves.

The meeting is over, he walks me out and thanks me for coming.

I go to the washroom.  As I wash my hands, I look up in the mirror and…

The Awful Discovery


I have ink all over my face!

Yes, I hadn’t noticed until now when I turn my left hand over that my fingers and palm have ink all over them.

When I did my thinker’s pose, I got a bruise on my cheek and the beginnings of a chinstrap beard.

When I scratched the itch, I drew a moustache on my face!

When I did my pondering pose, I got a Van Dyke beard.

And this very gracious, classy husband and wife said nothing! Either they hid their amusement or, in the low lighting, they didn’t notice what was happening.

It sounds like a Candid Camera skit – how does an innocent bystander respond when a person unwittingly defaces their own face?

The Recovery

At this point, I could be mortified, give up on life, crawl away and never show my face again (marked or unmarked!), living the rest of my life in humiliation, letting this moment be the defining point in my now miserable and squandered life. Or, I could choose differently! I could choose to see the humour in the moment, laugh at myself, and make hay with a terrific story that now goes into my speaking repertoire to entertain and delight thousands over the next 30 years, go on and live a happy life full of laughter and accomplishment, forever being flooded with healthy endorphins when someone points at me and says, “Hey, aren’t you the guy who inked his face?” Everybody needs to be able to laugh at themselves and not take themselves more seriously than they ought (Romans 12:3).

As for me, I say “Oh Lord, it’s far too easy to be humbled!”

So I’ve told a story on myself. Now it is your turn! What is the funniest thing you’ve ever done to embarrass yourself? Maybe you couldn’t laugh at it then, but we can certainly laugh at it now. And I hope that in hindsight, you can too.

Thoughts on Oh Lord, It’s Hard to Be Humble

  1. Joanne Thibault

    Great blog you have here! I used to own a bookstore (before big box stores decided to go into the book business). Somehow, on one of the busiest days of the year, the Saturday before Mother’s Day, I forgot that it was my turn to open the store. I strolled in at 2:00 pm in the afternoon and was shocked and appalled to discover that I had missed a full six hours of selling time. Now, whenever a young person is hard on themselves for being late to work I tell them my story – now that is late for work!


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