She made me mad. I was visiting this lovely installation for only a few days. With the rain pouring down outside, I just wanted to stop in at the library for a bit. Parking on installations here in Germany comes at a premium. Driving through the parking lot, I almost passed by a car pulling out, but saw it and stopped. I was so excited to find a parking space . . . till I started to back up a bit to let the parked car pull out so I could pull in.
Honking her horn and “waving” at me through her windshield, the sweet lady behind me had no desire to allow me to do so. She had already switched on her blinker and was set.
My first reaction?
Well, let’s just say it wasn’t my sweetest moment. I really wanted to get out of the car, rain and all, and explain to her what I thought of her actions. Probably not the best approach.
I drove out of the parking lot and found no parking places for blocks, even after driving through the library parking lot again. I so wanted to tell her how I was visiting her post, how I had “important” things to do. I mean, didn’t she know who I was?
That’s the problem.
She probably knew exactly who I was/am – a sinner who, without Jesus, has no hope in the world and no prospect of ever doing anything worthwhile. On my own, I am worth lots of nothing. And that day, had I stepped out of the car, I would have proven it once again to the world.
Humility does not come naturally to me, and probably not to you either. It certainly isn’t the “American way.” Nobody wants a minimum wage job, to work the gate of a military installation, or serve food in the chow hall. We all want to be “more important” than that.
But humility is a key component in our walk with Christ.
Not the humility like the pity party of how horrible we are, but recognition of who we are with regard to the Lord and who He is in comparison to us.
Jesus knew all about humility:
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:14-16)
Humility comes down to three things:
- Who we are in relation to God – we are sinners, saved only by the grace of our Lord. Without Him, we accomplish nothing and our lives become worthless. We are small, insignificant beings who are in desperate need of a Savior.
- Who He is in relation to us – He is the God of the universe, the One who spoke the world into being. Yet as big and amazing as He is, He sent His Son to earth to save us out of His great love and compassion for His creation. He then uses us for the furtherance of His Kingdom.
- Who others are in relation to God – everybody is in the same boat…EVERYBODY. As Christians, we can remember what we used to be and what God has done in our lives since then, but some people we meet have never met our Savior. We are all sinners and the only hope of any of us is Jesus.
Humility – it’s not a feeling or action that comes naturally, unless of course we have been sitting at the feet of Jesus in awe of who He is and what He has done for us. That will bring us to a place of humility.
If I do this, then when I encounter a time when I don’t feel like life is “fair” or I deserve better, I will be reminded of who I truly am, who He is, and who others are as well.
I read a quote from an article called The Collapse of Parenting just the other day that described this well. It said, “The culture of humility leads to gratitude, appreciation, and contentment.” That’s what I want – gratitude and appreciation for what the Lord has done and contentment in the place He has put me.
That this is where we are each day—sitting at the feet of Jesus, recognizing who we are and who He is, then going out to share the hope of salvation with the world. Life is not about us. It never has been.
It’s all about Him.
May we take a back seat and allow our lives to bring honor and glory to the One through our humble obedience, even if our culture doesn’t seem to work that way.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)