Boradcast on BBC Radio2, 2004
There I was sitting peacefully in my office and the phone rang. It was ITV and they wanted to do a live TV interview discussing God’s role in the Tsunami. I was to get a first class ticket and travel to London and bear my soul to the nation and put myself at the mercy of the media. I would achieve 15 minutes of fame and make my mother proud.
The interview was going very well. Questions coming thick and fast, but I was ready for all angles. I was on top until, ….…..well what do you think is the worst thing that could happen to you on live TV? – I didn’t know either until my front tooth, which is a crown, that had stayed religiously in place in my head for twenty-five years, decided to fall out.
Now if you are used to seeing your face with a full set of teeth, black one out with a marker and look in the mirror and see what an enormous change it makes to your face. That is one of the little thoughts that went through my mind as I began to experience a vacancy in my dental presentation. Somehow, by the grace of God, I caught my tooth with my tongue and pushed it back up again, while continuing to mumble about some important theological issue.
I was doing the interview primarily to defend the position of God in the face of natural disaster, and what does God do? He humiliates me in front of millions, and I’m a volunteer! I thought I didn’t deserve such treatment. But, then again, when have I accepted humiliation with grace?
The Television Company sent me a copy and, although everyone praised me for a good interview, they all had a good laugh at the tooth-fairy bit. Actually it is funny to watch and God has great timing. I have since reflected that humiliation and inconvenience are a normal part of life, and often valuable in our personal and spiritual development. Its often very easy to look for the desirable and comfortable situation; to take ourselves and our positions too seriously; but ignore the essence of our lives.
We are only a part of the equation of life. If we take ourselves too seriously we will be laughed at, and deserve it; and if we expect perfection in an imperfect world we will be inconvenienced, that’s common sense. Our difficulties are often the most valuable parts of our lives. They mould and instruct us, and help us to mature. We should look back on most of them and laugh because they are only the teething pains of God and nature. Hare Krishna.