I have recently been inspired by someone I respect and admire dearly. Not just by the way this person handles success in humble fashion, or guides children in such principled ways, though they are very impressive. No, this inspiration has been fueled by a far higher, more noble concept: contriteness of heart.
Sometimes…rather, oftentimes…the greatest impact we can have on our world is not stating our case, staking our claim, having a quelling rebuttal or comeback at someone, some entity, or the embodiment of an argument or establishment. No. I believe it is the exhibition of humbleness with a stream of passion exuding from its core. [Incidentally, I believe for those who say they seek Christ, this is the sole approach to take on any level, even when specifics must be addressed or debated.]
Every time I see this spirit of meekness in someone, it stirs me. It energizes me. It inspires me. It makes me want to dig into that even more than my self-motivation for it. Maybe it is because I have tasted and seen of its goodness by doing it well sometimes myself. Maybe it is because I know the sweetness of the fruits of it when given me by others. And maybe it is also because I remember a time…
Grace is the foundation of life, real life. Of experiencing it, feeling it, and really living it. It takes patience and a bit of a slowness of step to be able to catch up to it.
Being approachable and humble diffuses so much, and it allows for so many things to not even exist. I earnestly seek to be this way, and I to be told by those around me if I ever am not. We all get that way time to time briefly, so I’ll need to be told sometime I’m sure. But I used to have a real problem with this in my life years ago, and when I went through a horrendous 2-3 year breaking period in my life, it was primarily the uprooting of two establishments that ran so deep in the soil of my heart and soul: pride and control.
I remember living locked up on the inside. Oh, I would have never admitted it, and for a long time most certainly believed the opposite. I held on to these two pillars, pride and control, so tightly. They gave me stability and security as my life took its twists and turns. And as they were so deeply entrenched in my life, I thought for sure I was holding onto God in my own way, seeing as they seemed unshakeable.
However, little did I know that which I held onto so dearly represented the self-made cage in which I dwelled. The very things I thought were safe, stabilizing pillars were actually cold, unforgiving iron bars.
I couldn’t be told by ANYone that I was wrong. And I wasn’t overtly obnoxious, as I had a passion and pursuit of God that some respected highly. But I was overtly obnoxious in the sense that I just was not approachable. It was so humbling when God began to reveal it to me, and then so much more when I felt I needed to begin to share this and begin some apologies to people…AND even more so when they began to cheer on the phone as I told them and thank God openly and tell me they had been praying for me on that for so long. Oh, that was embarrassing.
But I needed that shame. I had to embrace it, feel it, and let it feed me and grip me and cultivate the work it had to do in me to really revolutionize me on the inside…
…with the goal of no trace of pride left in me, a work that takes a lifetime to accomplish, and a daily effort to maintain the ground already covered.
So believe me when I say that I have been no better than any of you in this, and perhaps in some ways far worse. And that I mean it deeply when I say that you are more than accepted where you are and who you are right now. We are all in this together, and there’s no room for big I and little you when any one of us comes to one another and opens up and shares their vulnerabilities, because we absolutely all have them.
I hope to encourage and inspire you to take a moment to reflect, and be honest with yourself, even if it is difficult to come to terms with, or if you know it will mean several small or a few big things will have to change in your life. It is okay. If you think on these things and ask God to sit down beside you in your room or chair or place while meditating, He will give you courage and a safe place to think of them, and to give them over to Him. And you may put your hand in His to help you take what ever your next step is with it.