If loving our neighbor is difficult, how much more difficult is it to be humble? Humility is the virtue that I love to ignore. I mean, we all say we’d like to be humble, and we include the words in our prayers, but is that what we really want? Do we really want to open the doors of the shiny, fast sports car that we call our lives only to turn around and hand the keys over to Jesus? Wouldn’t we rather take the wheel, and take ownership of the speed, twists, turns and destination of our lives? “I did it my way!” is our anthem, isn’t it?
Jesus rocked the world when he told us of the “more excellent way” that involved turning the other cheek, loving God with all our souls, hearts, minds and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. But then he knocked us out of our comfy worldly chairs by adding a call for complete humility. Our true purpose in life can only be achieved when we acknowledge that our lives are not our own at all. They belong to the one who created us. Our work on Earth is to do the work of Him who sent us. Not our work. Not Mom’s and Dad’s dream for us; not our own “career path.” Not fame and fortune. His work.
Do you want proof? Look no further than the cross. Jesus was begotten of the same stuff as God. He could part seas, he could raise the dead, he could summon armies of angels; but he did not live the life of a god. He saw his mission as one of complete service. He gave away the best seats at dinner tables. He gave away his private time when the crowds came looking for him, and he gave away his very life because that’s what God asked him to do.
There’s no question about it; we were put here to do the same thing. We probably won’t be called upon to sacrifice ourselves on a cross. In all likelihood, God will be perfectly happy with you living a perfectly “normal” life. But ask Him. In your morning prayers, ask what he needs to have done today. Then listen, really listen, because he will give you the answer.
And then prepare to serve…and to be amazed. Because the servant’s life is not a life of misery. It’s a life of joy. No matter how happy we are to be making our own way in the world, that happiness will be multiplied a hundredfold when we start living for the one who put us here.
Live humble. Live joyous.