(A word about counting “Lent days” before I actually begin this day’s blog: For those of you who might be wondering why my “count” seems to be off, I’ll offer a little explanation! The 40 days of Lent are meant to begin with Ash Wednesday and go through the Saturday before Easter Sunday – without counting the Sundays in between. But I kind of got ahead of myself back in February sometime and wrote a blog on a Sunday, which put me a day ahead of the count. So….I took yesterday “off” in order to get back on track! We’re coming down to the last seven days together, and I want to make sure to wrap it up in true Lenten style.=) So, there you have it! Now….on to Humility….)
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” I Peter 5:5
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:1-3
There’s nothing like beginning something new….taking on something you don’t know how to do….and learning to do it, to bring humility home. Such as….starting a new job. =)
For the past many years, I have worked as a secretary and have to say I’m generally pretty good at that. I love greeting people and trying to meet their needs in a quick and satisfactory manner. I love all types of office supplies/machines/systems….it just suits me, and it’s a role I’m very comfortable in. In fact, I’ve grown used to being the “one with the answers”….the person other people come to when they want to know things. And I like that role!
I just completed my second week at a new job. And I’ve learned a thing or two about humility…..
First of all, I have to say I am very thankful to have been hired in this position. It is very, very comprehensive and detailed work and I know I was not the only person who applied for the job, so that means my employers/managers believed I was the best candidate. (And I’ve had to remind myself of that a few times in recent days!)
But it’s been a complete role-reversal for me. Instead of being the person who “has the answers” for other people, I have been the “newbie” in the company and could not have even made it to the end of this second week without the training/advice/consideration of others. At this stage in my life (“Ever so much more than twenty” as Peter Pan’s Wendy would say) it’s humbling to be so dependent on others, even though it is quite expected. I am told I’m picking up the new information and procedures quickly. My co-workers and supervisor seem pleased with my progress. And that feels great! But, still, I’m left with this feeling of humility at how much I do not yet know. Yep…..I’ve been eating big ol’ slabs of humble pie lately, and that’s what is most on my mind this night.
When I started this Lenten journey I committed to being as open and authentic as I could be – I knew that was somethow important to the work God was seeking to do in my heart, and I have honestly tried to stay true to that goal. But nights like tonight are hard to communicate this way. I run the risk of sounding whiney and ungrateful….and I truly am not! But I’m going to give it my best shot, and we’ll just let the “humility” fall where it may. =)
For me, it was beginning something entirely new and foreign to me that brought on these thoughts about humility, but that makes me wonder why I don’t think about it more often…. Scripture clearly has some powerful and specific instructions and advice concerning the importance of humility. And after a bit of reflection, here are some thoughts……
- I will never, never, ever know all there is to know about God. There is always more insight and truth and understanding the deeper my relationship with him grows.
- That which I DO know is given to me by grace. Whatever understanding I have is itself a gift from God, and nothing I have earned or inherently posess.
- I am and will always be a child of God – and as such belong to One far greater and wiser than I. Though I believe God desires to share with me great wisdom and understanding, my role is still that of seeker, student and beloved child.
- I cannot judge the hearts or intents of others, even when it seems glaringly obvious to me. My role is to love God and others in humility.
- No matter how tempted I may be to “have all the answers”, no matter how good it may feel to be the “go-to” person….it is empty and meaningless unless I serve with gratitude and humility………
These are hard thoughts for a Friday night, I know! But, since you have been such faithful companions, I have a feeling you won’t be easily scared away by this short confession of an “I-can-do-it-myself” sister. The truth is, none of us can “do life” by ourselves. I don’t even know where we get the idea to try! God designed us to live entirely in community – with God at the center. So, as we near the last week of our journey together, let’s continue to ask the hard questions and pray that God do the important inner work that we need as we move toward the glory of the resurrection.
I’m so grateful to be on this journey. I’m truly, truly thankful for your encouragement and presence. And I mean that in all………….humility.