A Cowboy’s Faith: Always make amends for carelessness

buchmanhead“Don’t cry over spilled milk.”

But, we should at least apologize for spilled coffee.

Still, we feel bad, very embarrassed, after pushing a nice lady’s cup of coffee over into her lap as she was finishing supper at a farm banquet.

Quite typical of our life’s hurried clumsiness, and forgetfulness, we were distributing notepads to guests after failing to bring the box of them in an hour earlier when other stuff was being put out.

The pads were being placed at the end of each table, when we threw a bundle right into the woman’s coffee, slopping it all over her.

First surprise, perhaps a tiny note of being mad, and then a hopefully somewhat-forgiving small smile came across her face as she and her seemingly-slightly-smirking husband rushed to sop up the mess with napkins on the table.

Even dumber, we didn’t rush to the kitchen and grab more napkins, but rather just stood there loudly repeating “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

Damage is done, now help clean it up she should have said, instead of kindly nodding: “It’s okay. Good thing I wore a brown outfit.”

Then top it off, we didn’t go get her another cup of coffee a few feet away. Just how inconsiderate can an old cowboy be? Certainly she had to wonder.

Our reprieve, at least we’d like to think that way: the sweet farm woman’s number was drawn out for one of the door prizes. Six bags of soybean seed were valuable, but they don’t do any farming themselves anymore. Well, okay, we’ll give you two seed caps with a paper holder magnet. She smiled in appreciation, whether she really did or not.

Still feeling guilty and indebted when the drawings were coming to an end, we publicly announced our dumbness and presented the nice woman with a rain gauge. She did honestly seem to like that. Probably, just tired of us going on.

Unimportant, but we’d spilled our own coffee all over our desk and hundreds of papers earlier in the day.

Reminds us of Proverbs 23:13: “Don’t be afraid to correct mistakes.” Importantly, Acts 16:38: “They hurried over and apologized.” Yet, Second Samuel 14:14: “Water spilled on the ground can’t be gathered up again. But, God does not take away life. He works out ways for reprieve.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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