When circumstances run smoothly and events go in accordance to our plans, it is easy to believe that we are actually in control of our minuscule part of the universe. But then what happens when we encounter a crack in our yellow brick road, an unexpected altercation with a minion, or a mistake that knocks us off our high horse? Hopefully, we are awakened to the truth that we are not the one who calls the shots. We are not the captain of the ship, nor are we the master of our fate.
A Natural Dose of Humility
The other day I received some disheartening news about a fellow employee. The statement he made caught me off guard. He was moving on, he was leaving his post. Suddenly, I felt abandoned, forgotten and miffed. Something else surfaced too, an old defensive pattern of mine, sarcasm. The cynicism threatened to harm some of my other relationships, ones that I’d worked hard to build. Those whom I aimed my scorn at were not at fault, yet they got the brunt of my anger. This avalanche of skewed feelings toward the one who was leaving us needed to be nipped in the bud or I’d sink under my load of skewed feelings.
Over the course of the next few mornings, I inventoried the mixed bag of emotions I was toting around. First, the statement made by my fellow employee caught me off guard. I’d hoped he’d made a different decision. But he’d not consulted with me, asked for my input or my point of view.
Secondly, I’d trusted the person to stick around, to stay committed, and to not leave. But they didn’t. In short, they changed their mind. They did not want to pass at the chance to advance up the ladder of what they defined as their success. Could I hold this against them?
Finally, I had to admit my arrogance. I was only interested in myself, the discomfort and the discombobulation I now felt in their absence. Along with that was fear of “what’s going to happen to me?”
In the midst of all this musing I finally settled on a comforting thought. I can cast all my anxieties, cares, worries and concerns onto Someone else, but first I had to free myself from pride.
Freeing oneself from pride involves having a sane estimate of our power over people, and the choices they make. This equates to zero. Also, we have to consider our omniscience, which if we are honest, we will find that it does not exist. What are we left with then? No power, no knowledge of the unknown and a sense of humility.
Why bother to humble ourselves? Humility has a way of waking us up to reality, dissipating arrogance and dissolving our conceited point of view. Humility is what allows us to unload our concerns onto Someone who cares about how we feel.