Billy Hybels' Most Expensive Turkey

Jim Daly

Have you noticed that most adults share a curious trait?

We can turn almost anything into something gravely serious. It’s no wonder stress-related illnesses have become so prevalent. That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves regularly to take a deep breath, relax, and laugh at ourselves.

Well-known pastor Bill Hybels can teach us a little something about that. He’s passionate about his work and calling, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He even proves it from time to time by inviting others to laugh along with him. Take, for example, his humorous, tongue-in-cheek account of cooking his first Thanksgiving turkey.

A few years back, his wife decided she’d rather not cook the Thanksgiving meal, so Bill stepped up. After all, he said, this situation called for a leader, and he was the senior pastor of one of the largest churches in the United States and the founder of the Global Leadership Summit. How hard could this be?

To really impress his family, he elected to cook the holiday bird outside on his new grill, a fancy built-in connected to the house’s gas line, with enough BTUs to power a small city. He spent weeks planning the meal and declared this turkey would be the greatest his family had ever eaten. The big day arrived and – true to his promise – the turkey was a hit.

Weeks slipped by. Christmas came and went, and the New Year was underway. Then, one chilly Saturday morning, a landscaper finishing up some work around the house asked Bill what he’d cooked the night before.

Bill looked back with a confused frown. “Nothing,” he responded.

Now the landscaper seemed puzzled. He motioned toward the grill. “I think you left a burner on. Your grill is hot.”

Bill investigated and noticed the burners were roaring full-blast. It was at that moment he realized he’d never turned off the grill after using it nearly six weeks before. He now jokes it was the most expensive Thanksgiving turkey in history … and he was the biggest turkey of them all.

Listen, there are plenty of things in life that require us to be serious.

Why drum up (no pun intended) extra problems to add to that list? Sometimes we need to give ourselves a break. Relax. And laugh at ourselves and our silly mistakes.

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