For some reason for most of my life I have been on the receiving end of pranks. Here are just a few, and believe me, this is just a sampling of some of the stunts that have been pulled on me.
In seminary, I was the student body vice president, and while setting a vision casting message in chapel, I suddenly began to hear voices, gathering my wits and trying to figure out where they were coming from, I stepped back from the podium to see a walkie talkie on the stand. In the audience was my “best friend” with the other walkie talkie, critiquing me and cracking jokes as I spoke.
One day during our pastorate I hopped into my car to the foulest smell. It was summer and the stench was somewhere between that of limburger cheese and spoiled garbage. I search for days for the source, with no success. On one particular Sunday when I had to pick up a guest speaker the smell was so bad that I went through a car wash and asked for extra scent to mask the smell. I picked up my guest, made it to church, but when we came out after service, I realized I was in trouble. I borrowed a car, made it through the afternoon, and the next day once again began the search for the source. It was a few days later, after leaving a hospital call, that I found the problem. My brother-in-law had taken one of his daughters’ dirty diapers and stuffed it up under my seat.
On another occasion, not to be outdone by her uncle, my daughter Risa, who’s foot odor could be used as a weapon of mass destruction, once stuffed her dirty socks inside my pillowcase. The first night I must have been too tired to care but by the second night I was once again on the prowl for the source of the stink. The smell was nauseating and the more I sniffed for the source the worse it got. When I found her socks in the pillowcase, not only did I have to wash the pillowcase, but the pillow too. The latest stunt is still an ongoing mystery. One of my favorite things about our current home is that it backs up to a golf course. After a long day, I love to walk through the woods and gather lost golf balls. Last week I was excited to get out after Memorial Day when the weekend golfers had played. As I was retrieving golf balls, I noticed that I had found several of them that looked the same, seemed odd, but I didn’t have my glasses on, so I wasn’t able to discern the logo. The next day our kids came over for the evening and were looking at my haul. I should have known that something was up because rarely are they interested in my discoveries, but as they surveyed my treasures, Gentry remarked, “hey dad, look at this one.” The golf balls that had looked curiously similar were golf balls with my face on them, and not only my face, but personalized with my name too. I still don’t know who the prankster is, I have my list of suspects, but I did surmise my kids were in on the prank. I have questions. First, who’s mind is this demented? Second, who chose the horrific picture? Third, who has time to think of this kind of prank. Fourth, who came out and shanked golf balls in the woods and when? And finally, did they hit more than the six golf balls I found?
As usual there is a life lesson in all this. Like the pranksters in my life, you will always have adversaries and situations in your life. Their goal? To get you out of rhythm, to continually attempt to distract you from your purpose, and to create chaos in your life. While you can’t stop these attacks and distractions, you do have a choice in how you respond. You can become angry. You can give up. You can become bitter. Or learn to take them head on. Laugh them off, learn from them, and move on. Perspective is important in life, and when it comes to pranks, I view them as a sign that someone loves me, the pranksters know I can take their shenanigans and they know that I will laugh it off. I also love that I can be the object that causes someone to laugh, that I can make someone else’s day a little lighter. Plus, they’ve made for some incredible illustrations and gave me some great stories to tell.Just for kids, vote for your favorite prank pulled on me and share a favorite pulled on you!