I was young, maybe first grade, maybe not that old, I’m not sure.  I am pretty certain it was with my Royal Rangers group.

Royal Rangers was the Boy Scouts clone at our church.  We did activities like camp-outs and had meetings and got in trouble for wanting to play and not do the serious stuff.

Well, we went to another church somewhere, maybe it was a school.  It isn’t clear to me but it was big.  The place was packed.  We got to sit near the front on the right side where we could see what was going on.  What was going on was a very impressive showing of what a German Shepherd could do.

There was a police officer with his dog and he was amazing, the dog that is, the officer was just average.  I was completely taken in by the brilliance this dog displayed.  The dog was obviously smarter than the cop!  Not really, but it did seem as if the canine could do anything he was asked.

The show was over much too soon and the dog’s partner asked the crowd if they had any questions.  I don’t know how many he had answered when I shot my hand into the air and reached as high as I could.  I’m sure my butt left the seat as I tried to get my hand higher than all the others.

It worked!  He called on me.  I was excited because I had the perfect question.  No one else had asked it and I couldn’t believe how dumb everyone was for not wanting to know this essential piece of information.  I stood to my feet, my chest about to burst with pride, knowing that everyone in the place was going to wonder where that intelligent young man had been hiding all their lives.  I might even be on the news…”Young man astounds crowd with astute observation!”

The time had come, I opened my mouth and my loud, clear voice practically shouted out, “How do you tell a girl dog from a boy dog?”

I don’t know how long the laughter lasted but when it finally died down the policeman suggested I go home and ask my dad.  Yeah, right!  My dad would never know about this.  I wasn’t going to ask.  Unfortunately for me, my cousin John had witnessed my ability to make a whole giant building full of people laugh uncontrollably.  He made sure that my dad knew…along with everyone else in my family and our church and his church and the whole St. Louis metropolitan area.  I could imagine myself on the news…”Young man demonstrates how he is much more stupid than police dog.”

It isn’t real easy to embarrass me but it is possible.  I don’t think I have ever topped that one and hopefully never will.  No one brings that moment up anymore and a lot of the details are getting hard to recall, but the moment I asked the world’s dumbest question in the most inappropriate place in the world is as fresh as the day I executed it.  I know what you are wondering.  You want to know if I know how to tell a girl dog from a boy dog.  Let’s just say that there have been significant advancements in my knowledge of human and animal anatomy.

Sometimes, learning causes us to endure some hard times.  The more we want to know, the more open we are to embarrassment because when we ask a question we are admitting that we don’t know the answer.  The humble man is the easiest to teach.  There were many years of my life that I am sure I didn’t learn a thing because I thought I knew most everything and what I didn’t know, I kept that to myself.  Now as I get older, I know how wrong that was, but I am still learning.  I hope you are too.

Psalm 25:He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.

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