Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Missing Owen Wilson

"I just missed Owen Wilson by a minute at L'Thai!"

This was the text I sent David on Saturday night when he let me have the night off from the kids for my birthday.  The day was spent seeing a movie by myself, having a long pedicure where I talked to my nail tech about everything from kids growing up to wrapping paper and cookie dough sales in Kindergarten, and missing Owen Wilson (the actor) by a minute at my favorite Thai restaurant where I ate by myself and red a book.

First, before you feel sorry for me (or not) for missing a movie star by a hair, let me point out a couple of things.  One, it would have been awkward.  We would have been sitting five feet away from each other and dining alone.  There was only one other party of four in the whole restaurant.  Would we have talked?  Would I have shown him the picture of my three half naked kids David texted me during my meal?  Surely not.  So I was spared a self conscious meal experience dining a stones throw away from someone who normally sees people who have been well-tanned and manicured and who eat egg white omelets and salads- not happily slurping down their red curry with beef :)

Second, I must have missed him for a reason.  I was done with my pedicure forty minutes before I ended up at L'Thai.  I could have easily ended up right there beside him, but I decided to take my time.  I walked around, purposefully wanting to waste time and enjoy my alone-ness (and also apparently, to be late to the restaurant).

So, knowing that I chose to "be late" to the restaurant, but not knowing why beforehand, I pondered this as I ate alone.  Why was I so bummed that I missed seeing, and perhaps talking with, a movie star?  Is he so great?  Then I had a thought (and please, don't think I am trying to over-spiritualize this, but...) what if Jesus were there in the flesh and I missed him?  Would I be as disappointed?   Would you?  (honest answer: I was feeling less disappointed at the time I first thought about this...)

Here are some conclusions I came to:
  1. I have had near misses like this before.  Once, in college, my friends and I went to view a live taping of Wheel of Fortune.  We were given tickets when we entered the Grande Ole Opry, and in between tapings of the shows (we were in the live audience for several shows- all taped right after the other), they drew ticket numbers to give audience members a chance to be on the following shows in the next couple of days.  I forget the actual numbers, but they called something like "9456823".  I had ticket number "9456824".  One number away.  In 8th grade, I was a point away from making an all-state chorus thing.  Things like the Owen Wilson Thing happen to me.  Perhaps it's because they serve as a reminder of possible greatness.  Near misses with something awesome. 
  2. But, there is surely some reason why I am here, right?  Maybe it's not to be great at Wheel of Fortune, singing, or conversations with famous people.  BUT, again, there is a reason.  And I think that is what the Owen Wilson Thing was all about.  I could be destined for "great" things.  Just not "great" by a normal standard.  But, just as Paul wanted to "boast" in people because they were what he was working towards, doesn't mean that striving for greatness is all bad.  I'm sure striving for greatness is a tricky road, though.  There is a narrow line between pride and false humility that few walk.  
  3. Also, I'm pretty sure that Jesus laid out a formula for greatness, and that started at the very bottom of wherever you can imagine wanting to go.  Which is standard American dream type stuff- you know climb the corporate ladder and all-, BUT I'm pretty sure Jesus said that His formula also involves staying at the bottom and continually putting yourself there.  So what does that look like for me?  Not really sure right now, but I'm working on it.  Apparently it starts by not talking to movie stars and being OK with that :)

Oh, and in case you are wondering what he ordered- he ordered the Pad Prix Something or other- according to the waiter that Owen and I shared- if you are familiar with Thai food, that could mean any number of things :)

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