This photo was taken in Bologna, Italy back in July. Perhaps you can pick me out from the elderly Italian men looking up to watch the Tour de France. I absolutely loved it. The smell of Italian cigars, black coffee, boisterous laughter and yelling among paisanos transported me back to my childhood.
So why did I ask my friend to take this photo of me wearing my undershirt in public, knowing full well that it would be potential blackmail material? Simply put, I think it’s good to occasionally demonstrate that you don’t take yourself too seriously. In this instance, I couldn’t resist the temptation to engage the Italian stereotype to the point of ridiculousness. I realize that it may cost me my Order of the Sons of Italy membership; but, hey, once in a while you need to throw decorum to the wind and enjoy life.
Along this line, I once received a valuable admonition. It came from Msgr. Irvine Nugent of St. Helen’s Church in Vero Beach, a friend during my days of working in the Catholic Church. A little leprechaun of a man, Fr. Nugent was full of humor and wit. For as long as I live, I’ll always remember his exhortation when I mentioned that I was preparing for ministry in the evangelical tradition. With a twinkle in his eye and his cheerful Irish brogue, he replied, “Chris, remember, don’t take yourself too serious; save that for God.”
What brilliant advice.