GOD IS AWESOME; man is frail and mere. Many times, man, out of pride regards himself more than what he is. In God’s hands, we’re just creatures, though beloved and cherished. In His sight we’re but dust, created for His praise. The Scriptures says in Rom 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
However, God has His own loving way of teaching and guiding His own children whom He loves in the path of humility especially if pride assays to raise its ugly head in any form. Sometimes, when you’ve achieved some great feat for God or in any other way and you seem to forget you couldn’t have done that without Him. We tend to forget He gave us our being and whatever talent or ability we have. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring” (Act 17:28). Yet, sometimes it’s not the thought of your achievement but the natural ego just manifests, God shows you where you belong! One of the numerous ways by which He does that is to show you your stupidity and foolishness. You just unintentionally do something stupid and funny (not sin) such that you’re ashamed (whether or not people laugh at you) of yourself and think or say “why on earth should I have done such unreasonable thing?” And you’d just be helpless.
The first experience of such was related by William F. Hill in His book “Humility and How I Obtained It” (please get this book and read it. It’s short but wonderful) where a preacher was quoting 1Cor. 15:53 “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Instead of reading it just like that, he read it this way: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immorality.” Funny! Isn’t it?
Again, William Hill himself was in Church one day as the Pastor and he sat in his seat on the podium. Ok. But his zipper was open! Of course, he was oblivious of this. His wife, in a bid to save him out of the embarrassing situation quietly and wisely notified him in the congregation by writing it on a cardboard and held it in front of her from where his attention could be directed to the message. Now, as he got that and zipped up, he was ignorant that his tie was now held in the zipper since he was sitting. So as he wanted to stand up to speak or something, he realized how stupid he had been right there. Isn’t that funny enough? Does God have a sense of humour or what?
Yet one more story to share. This is a personal experience of mine. I was riding in a car some time ago, sitting in the in the passenger’s front seat. There were two other passengers sitting at the back of the car. As the car was still in motion, I wound the window down to spit out some mixture of phlegm and saliva from my mouth since I had some cold and catarrh. Then, instead of it landing on the ground, the wind blew it right back into the car and straight it went to cleave onto one of the men’s clothe at the back and on the door. So irritating it was! How stupid that was! And funny—right? Well, I was sad—really I apologized and, ruefully, pulled out my handkerchief to clean the stuff but then I felt very bad, miserable and, of course, really humbled! Now I know what sort of criticisms or scolding that may be streaming your mind right now at this. Anyway, I went through all that myself and got “tortured” in my mind afterwards. But after all, I came to realize such in-deliberate, unintentional and sometimes spontaneous acts of stupidity is one of the ways God humbles us and reminds us of, as well as point us to, where we really belong.
However, sometimes God lets us have such experiences not necessarily because we’re proud but so that as the scenes linger long in our memories, when we’re tempted to be proud in future for any reason, we remember and overcome such temptations. Humility is a choice.
Oore-ofe A. Ariyo.