For We All Stumble in Many Things

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

You’ll recognize those famous words from James 3:2. “For we all stumble in many things…” The older I get, the more I can identify with them.

I recently literally stumbled as I tried to step down to the floor as the invitation song began. No real harm and nothing broken, but it made for quite a distraction at just the wrong time in front of many witnesses. Upon reflection, it might be one way that the Lord is trying to help me with Romans 12:3.

During graduation exercises this year, I let two pages of the script stick together, totally missing a fine young man’s presentation of two prestigious awards. Thankfully, a colleague noticed my error and set me up to correct it. I’m told the audience never even knew, but I know that confession is good for the soul (James 5:16-20) .

After graduation and lunch, I came back to the office to work for awhile. I put some canned colas into the fridge—except for the one that I dropped. As it exploded it wet two walls, a file cabinet, a fire extinguisher, two umbrellas, and me. And after all that, there were still two swallows left in the can. It took half an hour to clean up.

One of our students has been named Travis all his young life. He still doesn’t know why I often call him “Justin.” Neither do I. Of course that brings us back to James 3:2, “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” I have no illusions of personal perfection.

On Mother’s Day, we led worship at the nursing home. On my way out the front, I removed my coat due to the warm weather. Immediately, a friend said to me, “Let me be your mother. Tuck in your shirt.” Part of the shirttail had escaped, and I had no clue. .

My work computer is well-used, having been with me for more years than it should. Even after all our time and conversations, it still does what I tell it to do rather than what I really want to do. Problem is that the new one will do just the same.

I still mow the lawn and trim the hedges. I count it a major blessing to still have all my fingers and toes. The one finger does look a bit funny, but it works OK.

I’m told that I will be switching to an iPhone soon. When I hang up on you, don’t answer, and/or dial you by mistake, please don’t be surprised. All that—and worse—is bound to happen.

I haven’t yet left the house wearing different colored socks or two different shoes, but I assume that might happen soon. When it does, I hope I’ll find it as entertaining as others will. I shouldn’t be the only one who misses the fun.

“For we all stumble in many things.” As that keeps us from being as boring as we might otherwise be, it also makes us grateful to God and others who graciously forgive.