MEET CAPTAIN KLUTZ
Brownwood, Texas, is my home town. I have no doubt that Brownwood has changed quite a bit in the last 40 years, but when I was a kid, in Brownwood, if you were a male, in school, you were in the Future Farmers of America, and/or played football (Coach Woods Mighty Lions! ROAR), OR you were thought to be a bit, um,…light in the loafers.
I was the Drum Major of the Band for years, was in the Drama Club, performed in musicals, and drove a multi-colored Volks Wagen Beetle. Guess what my days were like. It didn’t matter that I actively participated in three different martial arts, and was secretly going out with every other football player’s girlfriend…nope, my life was just plain interesting as a kid.
My big brother, Mike, gave me the nick name “Captain Klutz”.
See, here’s the deal, when I was not on the stage, or in the Dojo, or practicing my arts in the studio, or jogging, I was very clumsy. Mike used to watch me try something with tools and my Volkswagen, and declare, “Man! You could mess up an anvil with a rubber mallet!!, Here, let me do that!”.
I got a LOT of free VW maintenance out of Mike.
GO LARGE OR GO HOME
My biggest Klutz experiences, however, tended to be very public. Like the time I was leading the Band out onto the field at Half-Time, and my Drum-Major pants fell down. It is difficult to lead a band whilst holding up your drawers. I heard about that one for years.
LIVE TV and The Old Rugged Cross
My Dad and I installed Brownwood’s first television station. It was affiliated with KBWD Radio, and installed in First Baptist Church, Brownwood. We broadcast every Sunday and Wednesday service. We even had a studio in the basement of the church, where we would interview folks around town, or a visiting pastor, or some such. My brother helped Dad with some of the more intricate and complex electronics, but I was the gopher, cable puller, installer, and eventually Camera Man.
We had three cameras. I ran one of them every Sunday morning. Picture this, we were about to sing “The Old Rugged Cross”, Hymn #430 (In 1975, that is where the hymn was in our hymnbook, I think it was Hymn #91 in the Broadman.) We thought it would be wonderful to superimpose a screenshot of that hymn over the great stained glass windows that were in our sanctuary.
Being the alert camera man that I was, I fixed Camera 1 on a stain-glass window. I fixed Camera 3 on the Pulpit. I set a hymn book on the ledge of the balcony so I could focus camera 2 onto it. Everyone was just starting to bellow out the Chorus, “I will cling to the old rugged cross…”, when my dad told me over the headset, “Zoom in Dave, we need a better shot.” I zoomed, and I zoomed….”Not there yet, Dave, try to get closer.” I moved the camera closer to the Hymn Book. When I did that, the book fell off the balcony rail right onto one of the Blue Haired Praying Women of the church. She was a BIG donor, too. I don’t mean that in girth, I mean she gave a boat-load of money. Pastor Cummings said that one way or the other, we WILL strike the fear of God into you.
Everyone laughed but me and the Pastor.
If looks could kill, I would be with Jesus instead of writing this.
YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE
Then there was the time one of the TV lights went on the blink. We had three types of lights:
We had cut a large set of holes in the ceiling of the Sanctuary, and mounted several of these types of light so that their light would shine down on the Pastor and the Choir. If you were to stand at the Offering Table, and walk about 6 pews back, and look up, you could see these lights.
Church Service was just about to start, and this particular Sunday was going to be Big Doings at First Baptist. We were going to honor all the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Church, as it was Mother’s day. As my mom was playing some beautiful anthem on the organ, and crowds were just starting to mill around in the sanctuary, the halogen bulb went out on the Focused Lamp that focused right square on the pulpit.
Dad said I should get up into the Sanctuary attic and change that bulb as fast as I could. I locked my camera on the Pulpit, as that is where the announcements were going to take place, and those took forever.
I scuttled up the ladder in the back of the balcony that takes you right up to the Sanctuary attic. I ever so quietly crawled out to that Halogen Focused Light, new bulb still in its’ package firmly grasped between my teeth, and reached that lamp. As I was unscrewing the housing so I could change the bulb, the new bulb slipped from between my teeth. Having the reflexes of Bruce Lee, I grabbed for the bulb, and I CAUGHT it! I was so relieved, until I noticed that when I did that, I accidentally knocked the whole lamp off the beam it was clamped to.
That sucker fell like greased lightning right smack dead onto the 6th Pew on the right hand side. It made a terrible racket. Glaring up at me, from that very pew, just a few feet from where the lamp rested, was that same Blue Haired Praying Woman…the one that donated all that money to the church.
SHE HAS A WAY ABOUT HER
Some people thought being a klutz must have been contagious around me, too. I had just started dating Kathleen. She was one of the prettiest girls in Church, and one of the top 10 prettiest girls at school. I was running Camera 2 in the balcony, when Kathleen decided she would come to where I was running the camera, and sit next to me. As she headed down the balcony steps to sit on the front row of the balcony, she tripped and fell all 20 steps. She was wearing one of the prettiest summer dresses I had ever seen. She was also, the whole church discovered, wearing Sunflower Bloomers. Kathleen was so embarrassed that, when she got up and turned to run away from the front row of the balcony, she tripped back UP those steps. When she got up, she was in such a hurry to get as far away as possible, that she tripped over her pretty shoes and fell flat on her face, right there in front of Jesus and everyone.
Kathleen was a dancer.
People got to where they stood at a distance whenever they saw I was going to do anything other than breathe or blink.
Maybe I was a Klutz.
I was very encouraged, though, when my Pastor told me, “Son, you’ll grow out of this some day.” They let me keep on running the cameras, in spite of all the fun I brought to the church service. I had to learn somehow.
That is how it is with God.
Because you belong to Him through Jesus Christ, you are His beloved child, warts and all. There will be times when you are brilliant and amazing, and there will be times when you just plain stink. God is OK with that. Failing is part of succeeding, when it comes to growing to be just like Jesus.
It isn’t how you fail, it’s how you get back up.
As long as you are doing what Jesus said we should do, and seeking the Kingdom of God, and all His righteousness, God will see that the Holy Spirit adds everything else you need to you and your circumstances so you will eventually grow out of being a Klutz of a Christian.
Romans 8:1-2: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Keep trusting God, keep moving forward. God will turn even your most embarrassing failures in to a blessing.
It is written:
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Let’s Be About It!
I love you in the name of Jesus,
David G. Perkins