Amid all the treats we’ve been eating too much of all month, I did not see a single offering of humble pie. It’s a dessert we find easy to refuse. Yet when I reflect on 2019, it seems God has been walking me through a season of humbling in big and little ways. How about you? Turning it down, apparently, is not an option.
A misunderstanding with my agent reminded me that if she chose to, she could drop me from her client list today and fill the slot with any number of eager writers immediately. It’s humbling to be a small fish in a big sea.
Diminishing sales and no promise of another contract leave me wondering if I’m going to be looking for another “real” job. It’s humbling to know I don’t have the energy for that.
With joy, I retired from my city hall job at the end of March. While training my replacement, I told her to feel free to call or email me if she became stuck. It’s been nine months with not one call or email. City hall still stands and the world still turns. Go figure. It’s humbling to know I’m replaceable.
A conversation with one of my children left me feeling like a complete failure as a mother. Although I’m thankful this hasn’t happened yet, it’s humbling to realize my adult kids hold the power to cut me out of their lives should they so choose.
My body reminds me daily that it’s been performing for sixty years. Parts are wearing out. Hurting. Drooping. Clothes don’t fit right. Unless I plan to live for a hundred and twenty years, I can no longer consider myself middle-aged. It’s humbling—and scary—to grow old.
I continue to blow it with my spouse on a regular basis. Even after forty-two years, which tells me I will never get this right. It’s humbling to admit.
Can you relate to any of these? Being humbled does not feel good. I think that’s why God tells us to humble ourselves. (I Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”) Humbling yourself is far less—well, humiliating—than being humbled by circumstances or by other people.
Though it’s not enjoyable, humbling is good for us. Why? For one, it keeps us from the sin of pride. The wrong kind of pride can be deadly.
Secondly, being humbled teaches us to rely on God. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my writing career, my income, my agent, my family relationships, my health. I can do my best, but ultimately, I need to trust God with the outcome, lean hard on him and know he has my best interest at heart. He knows what is best for you, too.
And sometimes that best comes with a tasteless but healthy dose of humble pie—no ice cream on the side.