Heads Bowed and Eyes Closed

When I was in 1st grade and we had just moved to Ethiopia, I realized that I was a hypocrite.  Of course, at that age, I didn't even know that word, but I did know what I had done.  Let me explain...

It was minutes before lunch.  We were seated on the rug in the center of the classroom, finishing up a book.  My teacher set down the book, folded her hands neatly in her lap, looked at us students and said, "heads bowed and eyes closed".

Since the teacher was looking directly at us, the other students and I quickly did as she said, bowed our heads and closed our eyes.  About 10 seconds after she began praying, I lifted my head a little bit and peered out of the corner of my eye.  I didn't know what I was looking for...I just enjoyed being able to look when no one else was looking.  It felt like I had the upper hand.

I peered at each student, looking at their clothes, how they were sitting, their hair falling forward and their eyes scrunched up tight.  Until, I got to Junior.  He stared straight back at me.  I squeezed my eyes together, pursed my lips and gave him my best glare.  I could NOT believe that he had the nerve to disobey the teacher.  So, as a good samaritan, I decided that I had better make sure that she knew what was going on.

My insides were flipping with eagerness as I waited for the teacher to wrap up.  She barely got out "amen", before I had my little hand up as high in the air as I could get it without my bottom leaving the rug.  As soon as she called on me, I confessed Junior's sin.  He did NOT have his head bowed and he did NOT have his eyes closed.

The teacher smirked, took a breath and asked me, "Well Emily, how would you know that?".

I sat there like a deer in headlights.  My teacher didn't say anything else.  Neither did I.  We both knew and that was enough.  It's been 25 years and I'm writing about it today, so it must have taught me a good lesson:

Spend more time worrying about what I'm doing then what others are doing!

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