Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wherefore Art Thou, Humility?

He has made everything beautiful in its time. 
-Ecclesiastes 3:11

Even me. Even you. 

I don't know about you, but I always wanted to be the kind of person who would stand for something. I aspired to be the sort who wasn't afraid to do anything, so long as it were the right thing. (And it would always be the right thing.) I would have crisp wit and ringing character, be gracious and compelling. I would be a rebel, a leader, an anomaly. 

Until I wasn't.

Maybe the stress and busyness of grad school have squeezed out the ooziest uckiest things from within me, or maybe all the emotion that I haven't had time for is going to awkwardly splatter all over this entry, but somewhere in my swashbuckling splendor, I think I've gone terribly awry. And it's not the sort of "awry" that is just a wrong turn here or there. Rather, if I were a mountain, these troublesome stones would stretch into my deepest layers.

Ugh. - That awkward moment when you realize you're actually a jerk.

There are always two options when you come to this kind of discovery. The first, and easiest, is to close that the heck up and leave it alone, or make excuses for yourself that divert the issue rather than absorbing it. (#winning) The second, reasonably more uncomfortable option is to unearth the entire monstrosity, invite your closest friends to help, (buy a pizza?) and go thereOr sob. As I did all over my coworkers this week. 

The thing is, I do not want to be someone whose sass or wit stand in the way of being available. I don't want to seek laughter, "likes", and approval at the expense of being truly known. I do not want to brush over the glaring flaws that people try to make me aware of in the name of, "It will probably be fine." (Which, in English, means "Whatever, fools, I got this.")  I want to be daring, confident, and unequivocally vibrant, yes. But I also want to be humble - genuinely humble. I would rather be unimpressive and genuine than flashy and pompous, which is unfortunately not what my life has always communicated. I would rather be overlooked (ouch!) for something that I am than loved for something I do not want to be. But more important than being any of these things, because focusing on being anything invariably becomes about striving, I need to know that I already am His. God's. There is no striving in that, but rest. There is no pride in that, but humble gratitude. There is nothing to prove, because it has already been proven. There is no greater than or less than, there just is. And there is peace. 
"Jesus came to release us from the slaveish need to be right, rewarded, regarded, and respected. Because Jesus came to set the captives free, life does not have to be a tireless effort to establish ourselves, justify ourselves, and validate ourselves." -Tullian Tchividjian 
Will you join me in being real in this crazy life? Authentically unmagnificent? A learner? We always want our best colors to shine, but I would rather wave the flag of 'work in progress' if it meant that I would continue to progress. Mature. Deepen. Soften. I don't have this all figured out. I'm not just saying that. And I'm sorry if you've ever been overwhelmed by the stench of my self-importance. 
With that I leave you with The Oh Hello's, and their beautiful song.

But nothing is a waste
Nothing is a waste if you learn from it
And the sun, it does not cause us
The sun, it does not cause us to grow
It is the rain that will strengthen
The rain that will strengthen your soul

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