When the brain takes a hike…

So I go to an interview yesterday and my brain can’t connect with my mouth.  Or vice versa.

What is it about three ordained ministers asking me simple questions that turns my brain to jelly and my tongue to mush?  I could have answered more coherently with a shot of Novocain numbing my mouth, for all I remember answering is, “malsdjapoifskldfmaosidfkjskljfosijlkspfoiskdj“.  What is this nervousness that encroaches in seemingly simple situations?   It’s the brain taking a hike…

It was okay when they asked non imposing questions like “So how is Mike doing?”,When are you scheduled to go back?” and “What is the meaning of life?”  (maybe that last one wasn’t asked…).  But when they said, “We have to ask you Theological questions now:  What are the four cardinal doctrines?”, my mind began to whirl and spin like a dryer with nothing in it but hot air.   Being nervous temporarily sucks out your brain cells.  I’m convinced of that.   I read that either in a copy of the Journal of American Medicine or The Enquirer or something like that.   Either or, it’s when the brain takes a hike…

Now I know well the four cardinal doctrines, and the Scriptures to support that.  I even know the sixteen fundamental truths that our fellowship stands on.  I took a written test on all these and passed with a solid “A”.

Give me anything in ink on paper and I thrive:  a book to read, a course to study, a test to take, or an essay to write.   Or give me a real life situation with real hurting people, and I can apply those truths in simple conversation.  Put me in front of living breathing humans with degrees behind their name who give me an unexpected oral test, and I’m a goner.   My brain took a hike and I couldn’t do it.

After I left, I pondered the irony that:

  • I’ve walked through a sprawling apple orchard and climbed through barbed wire  (and got stuck!) to preach the Gospel….and I said to myself, “I can do this!
  • I’ve driven through the Chihuahua desert alone with my kids through a wicked sandstorm with tumbleweed smacking into our car…and I said to myself, “I can do this!
  • I’ve driven down a dry gully and had a bull charge my van while on my way to hold a women’s Bible study in a place that some would consider the end of the world…and I said to myself, “I can do this!
  • Home alone, I kept a Mexican beggar who had snuck into our house at bay until others came home…and I said to myself,  scratch that;  I said to God, “okay, you gotta help me”  (but my brain cells stayed intact)
  • I went in to the Mexican hospital to deliver my baby girl when suddenly they tell me, “We have to perform an emergency C-Section to save your baby” and with no one to call for urgent prayer and a hubby who drops at the site of blood….I said to myself, “I can do this!”
  • I’ve been stranded in the middle of nowhere after my engine died trying to cross a stream, keeping an eye out for scorpions and rattlesnakes and without cell phone service – all on my way home from making two visits – one to a widow and another to an abandoned woman with kids – and I said “I can do this!

So why is it that when I got into that room with those men and that question pulled out of a hat, I couldn’t do it?

My brain came back as soon as I left that room.     Now I have to figure out how I’ll keep it in place for my next interview.

8 thoughts on “When the brain takes a hike…

  1. Red – Good for you! “You go girl!”
    Nov 1…that’s the day we celebrate our 20th anniversary. A milestone for both of us, eh?

    Hellen – oh no…I was not arm twisting. That’s God’s job. I’m just praying….:-)

  2. ah i caught that veeeeery subtl arm twisting there about Campeche! 😉 who knows…so far the LORD is being VERY silent about what He wants from me and is teaching me about Elijah’s dry brook…hmmmm…

  3. ih- yes I am. Ordination Interview is on November 1st. My hubby and I are doing it together. We recently found out we passed the test. He did better than I did, but that’s normal (even though I studied WAY harder!).

  4. Hellen – I don’t think the campos could have handled both of us at the same time! :-0
    (but maybe Campeche might!?)

    Pam – I can’t help but think of your post on ‘just being yourself’. I’m usually comfortable being that.

    Red- Are you going for your ordination?

  5. Oh my gosh friend–i understand though. We sat at a table with a senior pastor and 4 of his staff last weekend and I thought that there is no way that I could ever sit in front of a group of men in suits and do the credential interview. The senior pastor has been in our district for years and is one of the presybters…total panic hit me.

    Then over the weekend with the group from the Korean AG church…same thing….


  6. LOL…entertaining reading…not to mention the flashbacks i had as i read your ‘i can do it’ list…

    okay well, i WILL mention a couple:

    i DID HAVE a cell phone when MY car got submerged in a ‘river’ that suddenly appeared where there had been none before the rains…

    i DIDN’T have a baby when i ended up in the Mexican hospital but the severe gut pain i had from the amoeba infection left me thinking that i should at least something to show after all those contractions!!

    i too held women’s studies in Campo’s which felt like they were at the outer most parts of the earth and i got my hand break stuck whilst stopping to look at scenery on the way out of the valley (of shadow of death 😀 ). a nice couple, whom i flagged down, helped me after my halting Spanish explanation of what i had done!

    want me to go on with the flashbacks??? (rhetorical question 😀 )

    BUT my brain, like yours, takes a hike!!


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