And just in case you've forgotten (and I can't see why you should remember...) I've been teaching a unit on the Proverbs. We've spent the summer learning the characteristics of the wise man, and we've learned them exactly the way Solomon taught them, by comparing them to the characteristics of the fool.
And do you know where I've gotten my examples for the study of the fool?
(OK, mostly from the pages of my own life story, but besides that...) I got them from watching the news. Really, between the key players in current events and the talking talkers talking about them, just about every characteristic of the fool has been covered this summer. What a sad commentary on our culture...
Last week was no exception. Had I written the stories myself, I couldn't have found a better illustration for this one:
The fool shows his annoyance at once,
but the wise man overlooks an insult.
I call this story The Diva and the Duck Man, and it comes courtesy of none other than Oprah Winfrey and Jase, Duck Dynasty, Robertson, both of whom were victims of alleged personal offense. (I say alleged because Miss Winfrey's story has been strongly disputed by the Swiss Miss accused of dissing the diva. )
If you haven't heard the stories, they're just a google away.
Let's put it this way:
I can't imagine why...
This post isn't about the offenses, alleged or otherwise. You can decide how you might have felt in each situation. This post isn't about feelings. It's about actions.
First, there's the Diva.
Now actually, Oprah's reaction shouldn't have surprised me. She did what any good diva would do in such a situation. She looked down from Mt. Winfrey and saw the offense. What's more, she yakked her insult abroad to Larry King so he could be offended too. Larry's cooperative like that. It didn't take long for the slap in Oprah's face to be known world wide. Oh, the humanity!
And then, there's the Duck Man.
Jase looked at his story from a completely different perspective. Jase saw the humor. He's a story teller, after all, and this was some funny fodder. As he tells it, he just circled around, came back in, and told his family.
Did it ruffle their feathers? No. Did they fly off in a huff? No again. They didn't complain to the management and demand an apology, either. Hotel owner Donald Trump offered up an apology when he heard about it in the news, but Hunky McDuckman assured him no apology was necessary.
And that, as Miss Kay Robertson would say, is how it's done.
What a contrast.
Now, you probably have your opinion as to the difference between these two. I know that I have mine. I'll go ahead and spill it that I believe the major difference is spiritual. Jase Robertson is full of the Holy Spirit. Oprah? She's mostly full of Oprah. That's how she got herself into this pickle.
(And it is a pickle )
Oprah was a victim alright; she was a victim of bad timing. She had no way of knowing that a long haired country boy from Louisiana would show up on the national scene the very next day with a study in contrast, a contrast that would make her look very much like, well, a fool.
If I believed in coincidence, that's what I would call it.
Instead, I'll call it a teachable moment.
Not just to Oprah, of course, but to me.
(What? You don't have diva moments?)
Whether Oprah chooses to learn anything from the Duck Man is is her business. I truly hope she does. After all, it's better to be corrected than to have your next teachable moment smack dab in the middle of Proverbs 16:18.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before the fall.