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Skinned knees!

Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at 8:00 am

Musings and Memories

By Doug Dezotell

Jim was my pastor at the church I attended in Tucson, Arizona back in the 70s.

He made quite an impact on my life at that time, and he was instrumental in me going on to Bible College to prepare for ministry.

Jim helped me to develop a love for God and God’s Word, and he gave me my first opportunity to preach to the church. Looking back on that message now, I think that I may have improved my preaching somewhat since that first try.

Jim and his wife, Karen, were good examples for me of how a Christian couple should live.

One day, I took their little boy, Paul, to the Tucson Zoo. He was maybe three or four at the time.

We rode on the city bus across Tucson that day. Paul had never ridden on a bus before, so he was really excited.

Paul loved that bus ride. He enjoyed sitting on the seat by the window and looking out at the city as the bus took us to the zoo.

He was so excited! And he could hardly contain his excitement as we walked from the bus stop to the gates of the zoo.

We had a good time looking at all those animals that day. We saw the lions and the zebras. And we saw peacocks and ostriches. There were elephants and giraffes. And we saw a wide variety of other animals of all shapes and sizes.

And Paul was thrilled with it all.

We bought some popcorn and ate some ourselves and shared the rest with the ducks and geese in the lake there at the zoo.

It was a good day. A full day. Especially for a little boy.

When it was time to head home, we walked toward the bus stop to catch our bus. Paul saw the bus coming and he started running. And boom!

He slipped and fell down on the sidewalk.

Paul was wearing shorts that day, so his knee was scraped by the pavement. Of course my little friend started crying, and I tried my best to comfort him.

Our bus ride home wasn’t filled with excitement like our ride to the zoo was. And Paul whimpered most of the way.

I tried to remind him of all the fun we had, and of all the animals we got to see.

But, all Paul could say was, “I want my mama!”

When the bus dropped us off and we walked up to Jim and Karen’s house, Paul started crying as soon as he saw his mother.

“Mama, I fell down!”

Paul’s grand adventure was ruined for him because he had fallen down and skinned his knee.

Looking back at that experience reminds me of so many times I have encountered others, mostly adults, who tend to focus on the one negative experience in the midst of a multitude of great experiences.

So often we dwell on the negative and lose sight of all the good that life has given to us.

Are you a “glass-half-empty” or a “glass-half-full” kind of person?

We can either be the kind of person who wakes up in the morning and grumbles, “Good lord! It’s morning!” Or we can wake up saying, “Good morning Lord! I am ready for a great day.”

Being positive is a choice we all have to make. And an attitude we need to develop.

I have thought about my adventure with Paul a lot over the years. And I have learned to focus on the grand adventure instead of the mishaps along the way.

We can learn a lot of things from a skinned knee.

Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Cannon UMC. He is a husband, a father, and a grandfather.. He can be contacted at or by calling him at 931-607-5191.