Humility: What Pain Taught Me
What is the cost to learn humility?
Is it simply surrender of our pride?
That we are protecting fiercely
Trying so hard not to hide?
Each of us knows way down deep
We are too often not what we appear,
But wait, we are changing are we not?
Each moment of each day
Each month of every year.
For when we think we know what's best
Or our opinion reigns over ALL.
Humility through God's faithfulness
Provides an opportunity to fail and then to fall
If it happens to me suddenly,
My how often I do fret
The blessing is just around the corner
Though I haven't seen it yet
For we comfort another's pain
Holy Spirit power we do get.
So I welcome you, Humility,
Endless gifts to learn, receive and give.
In the light of God's never endless Grace,
Humility's partner, I want to live.
Seems I am simply unable to arrive there on my own
For in my human nature feel entitled to a throne.
So each me vital lessons that I may learn what's true
Self-centeredness is pitiful; I want to care about you.
God I know you know, I need help to bend my knees,
So break my heart with what breaks yours won't you please?
Putting Aside Pride
When I was young, I was a proud woman. I was the atypical over-achiever, there were not enough hours in the day for all my aspirations to be accomplished. Time after time, I reached the top of the mountain, only to fall back down and start all over again.
Status didn't do it, I reached some higher layers of a sales organization. I won the car, won the prizes, won recognition, and was convinced I had made a name for myself. There was always someone who went beyond my accomplishments. I turned in the car, turned in all my products, and was assured that I would never again be part of that organization.
I went to Africa, in search of a mission, and found myself loving the absolute adventure of it. Although we had planned well (we thought), everything went wrong. Our luggage didn't arrive, we weren't allowed into the country at first because of that fact, but I had this strange sense that it didn't matter, all would be well. I was right. The trip changed me, my focus, and my entire life.
When I returned, illusion set in, and there were many tough acts to follow, everywhere I went. Against my better judgement, I began an attempt to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. I found someone who would teach me the construction business and rose steadily to building management. I had a fancy, top of the tower office with my name on it, to prove that I had arrived.
Just as I reached the crest of the wave, I was shocked to learn that the person I was following was not only having an affair with the boss's wife, he wasn't even a legal citizen and was deported back to Australia. That dream went down in flames. My association with this man cost me the trust of other managers, who made it difficult every step of the way. I fought the battle, and triumphed, but it left me empty inside.
Then I started all over again. I went into Real Estate, this time a servant as an administrative assistant. I laugh today, because I really didn't type all that well, but I didn't make alot of errors, so I appeared faster than some of the others. I knew I had the aptitude to learn anything they could teach me, and I asserted that in the interview. They decided that I might be right, and hired me.
When a new division started, I was put on the team. Having proved my ability to adapt to changing environments and needs, I was selected to be a "Hub" GIS systems trainer. I was challenged, trained, and tested to the hilt. I loved it, and was determined to master it, and I did. It was the learning curve that motivated me, and I met the demands. I excelled, and I was recognized by my peers, management, the retail, commercial, and Industrial divisions in 88 branches.
A funny thing happened one day. I got a call from someone who asked me if I would like to volunteer. I thought about it for a minute, and then said yes. I probably should have asked, but I just didn't. On Saturday of that week, I found myself stepping through the doors of a county jail, for the purpose of training for counseling and working with detainees.
It was through this experience that humility visited me. I found out that I didn't know as much about the difficulties of life that I thought I did. I found out that in fact, I knew little at all. My pride was exposed and confronted without words. I found that I had unwarranted prejudices that I had to surrender to do this work. That is the foundation upon which I wrote this poem below.
When I returned home I found myself weeping. For the prisoners, for myself, for all the years I had been so self-focused, so self-centered, and too proud. I thought about all the people that I had ignored over the years, and even mocked for not being able to manage their lives. Humble pie, that's what I ate for the next few weeks until I was able to speak and acknowledge the damage my pride had done to others. In reality I had done the most damage to myself. Now I was face to face with the essence of who I was, and I felt a strange peace in the revelation.