May I Be Excused?
February 6, 2021, 9:49 AM

"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:30

Some things are just hard to say.

On my first day of kindergarten, I asked Momma what I should do if an emergency came up. She said, “Raise your hand. When the teacher notices you, walk up to her and whisper, ‘May I be excused?’”

“Excused?” That was a new word for me. When I was five years old, I had never heard of asking to be “excused.” The word sounded foreign. It sounded French. I reasoned that “May I be excused?” was French for “Can I go to the potty?”

However, I soon realized that most people don’t speak French. One day, I walked into Kate’s Country Store. An old man smoking a cigar was sitting behind the counter. I said, “Sir, may I be excused?” He blew out a puff of smoke and said, “Sure, kid,” but he never told me where to go. So, I said again, “Sir, may I be excused?” He looked at me and asked, “What’s wrong with you, boy? Are you brain damaged?”

Later, as a teenager, I enlisted in the U.S. Army. I was standing in formation one day and I raised my hand. The drill sergeant looked at me, frowned, and said, “Private Collins, what’s wrong with you now?” I said, “May I be excused?” I never did get to go. I did pushups instead.

Obviously, some people do not understand French.

I used the word “bathroom” for a while, although I never thought about taking a “bath” in the tiny wash basin of a public “bathroom.” Then I noticed “restroom” on a sign. That was a good word, but I was not comfortable using it. I didn’t “rest” in a public “restroom.”

A while back, I was out with some people from church. Someone said, “I need to use the washroom.” That’s perfect. Now, after the waitress takes my order, I look at my hands, turn to her and ask the perfectly logical question, “Ma’am, where is your washroom? I need to wash my hands.”

It would be a lot simpler if everyone knew French.

There is another statement that is hard for people to make, “Lord, save me.”

One night, the disciples of Jesus were sailing across the Sea of Galilee when a strong storm blew up. During that storm, Jesus showed up walking on the water. Peter asked Jesus if he could walk on the water with Him. Jesus said, “Yes,” and Peter stepped out of the boat and walked toward Jesus. But he lost his focus and started sinking. He screamed, “Lord, save me,” and Jesus rescued him.

Today, someone is reading this, and you are going through a storm. Your life and circumstances have not turned out the way you intended. You feel like your boat is taking on water and you are about to go under. As difficult as it may be for you to say, the best thing you can do is cry out, “Lord, save me.” Pray to Him and ask Him to save you.

The point is: Some things are hard to say. Because of stubbornness, pride, self-reliance, it is hard for you to turn to Christ. Eternity depends on you swallowing your pride and saying, “Lord, save me.”

You can ask the Lord to save you in any language, even French, “Seigneour sauve-moi.”

James Collins is a chaplain, pastor, author, and columnist. He speaks some French, but with a country accent. For more information on his ministry, check out the website www.thepointis.net.


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