My Pride and the $100 Cockroach

I’ve known for a long time that I have a pretty stable personality. What I mean by that is, at least around most people I’m mostly always the same person, in the same chill mood. I’m not very excitable, and I don’t get down about things often. I score high on the S part of the DISC personality profile, which in part symbolizes stability.

Part of it is how God made me, no doubt. And part of it, I believe, is a reaction to less than positive experiences with more unsteady personalities.

That has led to a large part of me wanting very badly to always be rock steady. To never be down. To never be ill-tempered, grouchy, or touchy. Not that I’m not ever those things, but I try really hard not to be.

I’ve discovered recently that I even take a sinful amount of pride in this at times. I was talking with a friend the other day, telling him that there was a good chunk of this spring that I wasn’t doing very well. He was surprised, remarking that he didn’t notice. I told him that I knew, because I didn’t tell him. That part of me takes pride in the fact that I can be doing really crappy and, if I choose not to tell anyone, they simply won’t know. Because I’ll look and act just fine as always. I will generally be honest if people ask me, but still–that is a scary thing that will take lots of grace to grow out of.

And then, yesterday, God chose to give me a spoonful of humility in a somewhat comical way.

First of all, I slept late, which makes me have a headache. And if anything can make me moody, it’s a headache.

But I was doing well, managing it well most of the day.

Then last night at the Gathering it stormed really hard. And if there is one thing that annoys me, it’s getting rained on. Ugh…I hate it so much. When I ran to my car around 9pm to go home, I stepped in one of those rivers beneath the curb and drenched my whole foot.


And then I walk in the door, trying not to be visibly frustrated. Kristi gives me a hug, and then looks up and shrieks.

There is a cockroach sitting in the picture rail close to the ceiling in my office. Just chilling.

And if there’s anything that can make me angry, it’s a cockroach. Who do they think they are, anyway? Barging in my house, through the poison I’ve sprayed to kill them–those disgusting, spine-chilling little varmints. It’s like they’re mocking me. Saying I’m not man enough to keep them out.

I stared that thing down, then huffed and puffed on the way to the kitchen to get paper towels to kill it.

When I got back, it was still there. Like it was saying “Nah nah nah nah boo boo.” 

I pulled my office chair over to the corner where it was and stood in it, but it was no use. I needed a few more inches.

Backstory–this Christmas I exercised my manliness by building a really awesome desk using a door, some landscape timbers, and a large sheet of glass that covers the top.

Do you see where this is going?

Unfortunately, glass is really expensive. Like, $100 expensive.

With the wisdom of a thousand sages, I thought, “You know what, I can put my right foot on the desk, lightly of course, to give me the few inches I need to kill this sucker.”

So, like a genius, I did.

And, crack.

Not only crack, but…as I went to swallow the enemy cockroach with the paper towel in my hand, I missed. It came flying down with me and scurried off to oblivion, unscathed. To continue to mock me, of course.

And I was a mess.

Down? Yep. Touchy? Yep. Angry? Yep.

Frustrated beyond any point of reason? Don’t even get me started. I stood there shaking my head, furious at myself and at that stupid cockroach, muttering things like, “I can’t even kill a cockroach…” and in general having a mini breakdown, at least juxtaposed by my usual “stability”.

And Kristi in her graceful, calming mood finally says, “Brandon–what is wrong with you? You’re acting…crazy.”

Uh oh. Crazy. Unstable. Unpredictable. Volatile. Crazy. That’s the word. That’s the word I never, ever want to be. Ever. But I am being crazy. Right now. Uh oh. 

I’ve always heard that God has a sense of humor. That sounds a bit corny, but I assume it’s true. He creates all good things, after all, so laughter is undoubtedly on that list.

Either way, I am grateful that God can point out my silliness and, not to mention, the utter frailty of my so-called “stability”–using nothing but a cockroach and a broken piece of glass.

I’d also like to thank my friend Courtney Gibson for the table runner from India that now gracefully covers up the edge of my broken desk. I’m sure it will serve as a good reminder for me.

Right now it’s mocking me like the cockroach, but hopefully soon it will stop that and be nice.

10 thoughts on “My Pride and the $100 Cockroach”

  1. God often has a funny way to getting our attention. Or we have a weird way of finally recognizing God is waiting for us to notice Him. One or the other.

  2. When I become angry I comfort myself with the thought that
    God too becomes angry. That comforting feeling soon flees from me as the truth
    of God’s holy anger collides with my unrighteous selfish anger. This is the
    nemesis of my life, anger… “Irish anger”…. “self righteous anger”… “justifiable
    anger” ……you know….anger. Funny story though. Sorry about your desk

  3. Ah, this is BRUTAL! Yet I can totally relate, and I think a lot of people can learn from your [unfortunate] experience. Side note: That is one wicked desk. Well done!

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