It's been a hectic past couple of weeks - not in a bad way, but by way of pace. We were at family camp for a week (Pine Cove for more info, family blog for pics), returned Saturday, my wonderful wife washed our clothes, I preached Sunday, then our oldest and I ran to the airport for a week of youth camp in Arkansas where I led a Bible study for graduated seniors. We flew in last night, dodging thunderstorms. We're home. Whew.
Something I've been thinking about: my wife and I have a conversation at family camp every year about character qualities that we want to see develop in our kids and in us. Mine for the year is humility. That's a dangerous thing to pray for, I realize, since you learn humility like you learn patience - in the school of situations that allow you to practice it. I also know, though, that pride lurks in just about every corner of my heart. Mercifully and severely, God holds up a mirror every so often (especially when I'm still enough and quiet enough) to remind me that pride is still around inside of me. I get to thinking I'm a great husband, dad, pastor, minister, preacher, friend, etc., and then something(s) happens that reminds me I'm not. It's severe mercy upon the pride He opposes. I don't want to be on the opposed side of that equation knowing that it's God doing the opposing.
The question I pondered for a large portion of the week was this: what's my role in developing humility? Here's what I came up with and hope to do, by grace. First, do something for someone every day that I'm not bound by duty, commitment, or anything else to do. Service builds humility. Second, express gratitude for anything and everything I can possibly can. Gratitude keeps me in the position of the receiver of God's blessings and others' service. Third, keep a really healthy view of myself - worse than I could imagine but more loved than I could imagine. It's not navel-gazing but perspective-keeping (or at least that's the goal). Dwelling in the Gospel and on the Gospel will help, I think.
Last thought: I've been out of the office and out of the flow for a couple of weeks now and am ready to jump back into it. I'm excited about being with the church family called Heritage Park. I'm excited about teaching the story of Jesus calming the storm tomorrow (Mark 4.35-41). I'm excited about having a "regular" week with the family. Looking ahead with a smile...