Humility is such an elusive virtue. Once you think you have it, you don’t, or you wouldn’t think you did. You’ve heard the story of the boy who received the “Most Humble” badge and had it taken away because he wore it?
Something similar happened to me just the other morning. I had retreated to a nearby town to work on this book. The village is a perfect hideaway: it is quaint, quiet, and has great food.
I’d gone to a café for breakfast when I noticed that people were staring at me. As I parked, two fellows turned and looked in my direction. A woman did a double take as I entered, and several patrons looked up as I passed. When I took my seat, the waitress gave me a menu but not before she’d given me a good study.
Why the attention? Couldn’t be my fly; I was wearing sweats. After some thought I took the mature posture and assumed they recognized me from my book jackets. Why, this must be a town of readers. And, I shrugged to myself, they know a good author when they see one. My appreciation for the village only increased.
Giving a smile to the folks at the other tables, I set about to enjoy my meal. When I walked to the cash register, the heads turned again. I’m sure Steinbeck had the same problem. The woman who took my money started to say something but then paused. Overwhelmed, I guessed. It was only when I stopped in the rest room that I saw the real reason for the attention-a ribbon of dried blood on my chin. My patch job on the shaving nick hadn’t worked, and I was left with my own turkey wattle.
So much for feeling famous. They probably thought I was an escapee from a Texas prison.
Oh, the things God does to keep us humble. He does it for our own good, you know. Would you set a saddle on the back of your five-year old? Would God let you be saddled with arrogance? No way.
This is one piece of luggage God hates. He doesn’t dislike arrogance. He doesn’t disapprove of arrogance. He’s not unfavorably disposed toward arrogance. God hates arrogance. What a meal of maggots does for our stomach, human pride does for God’s.
Traveling Light, Max Lucado, 2001, W Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.