As a young man, I found myself as a guest at dinner table of V.I.P.s. The keynote at this dinner was a politician who was on the national stage and a was considered a serious contender for the White House should he think about running in the upcoming Presidential elections. At my table were a gaggle of his key aids and politically connected cohorts.
I like to think of myself as an intelligent person and I wanted to pretend that I belonged with this well connected and influential group. I did my best to make conversation. I asked about the Senator's schedule and where else he was speaking. I asked about the Senator's thoughts on a potential run for the White House. I inquired about the Senator's views on certain political subjects. As the dinner went on, I got the distinct impression that something was wrong. The people at the table, the ones I desperately wanted to impress, were treating me like I was an idiot.
I was, in fact, an idiot. I later realized that the keynote was not a Senator but a member of the House of Representatives. With every question I asked about "the Senator" I declared my own basic ignorance. At a table full of political heavy hitters, I struck out several times over during the meal. I was clearly way out of my league.
When God finally answers Job and asks, "Why do you talk without knowing what you're talking about?" I had a flashback to that humiliating moment of realization. And yet, sometimes God uses our own discomfort and humiliation to teach us a valuable lesson or two.