Do I have to?
In the first week of October 2018, I got an eye injury. The pain started early in the morning- around 1:00 am- and continued throughout the day. My family and I had just moved to the area in the summer, our newborn Emily was two weeks old, and I had my second board meeting for the Wesley that night. By two o’clock that afternoon, I was in throbbing pain. Driving was difficult, being in sunlight was miserable, and all I could think about was getting to the doctor to get better. Even so, in the back of my mind, I heard, “I'm not missing a board meeting, we need momentum, I can’t let my family down..I'm not letting this get in the way of my week.”
Sometimes, I just don’t want to slow down... have you ever been that way? Have you ever refused to do something you knew was good for you or those around you? Can you believe someone wouldn’t want to slow down, rest, and take care of themselves- even when their entire body is screaming to them to take care of it? Well, I’m that person. I’ve struggled with this for many years, particularly when it comes to ministry.
When I hurt my eye, I was forced to slow down and reflect. It’s humbling to admit that I can no longer go, that I’ve reached a limit. Humility rebels against the fabric of my soul, which craves achievement, success, and results. But every so often, I have to humble myself and see what I really need. Looking back, I see what a formative time that was for me- as was every other time in my life where I was forced to stop in my tracks and recover in some way or another.
A few weeks ago at the Webber Institute for Worship Studies, the opening statement about our week together was, “Suspend your success and appreciate the one that is with you. Everyone here has been successful with their gifts and abilities.” I think that’s one of the ideas in 1 Peter 5:5b which says, “And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
I wonder what type of community would be created if we all lived into humility- if, instead of looking at each others’ accolades, we viewed one another through the lens of love alone. I want to submit myself to this type of humility, one that loves neighbor in spite of their response. As we place faith in Jesus, what's true about him becomes true about us and this type of humility becomes a possibility for us. We begin to approach this world and all people with the humility and compassion that God has shown us.
This week, clothe yourself in humility and love God with all that you are and your neighbor as yourself today, tomorrow, and ever more.
All glory to the Father through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.