Just as soon as I prayed it, I wanted to take it back.
Jesus, humble me.
Here’s what happens when you pray that prayer:
- You will have to run your shoeless daughter across your lawn so that she catches the bus she almost missed (your fault). You will still be in your pajamas, the ones with a huge tear in the butt, while every single one of your neighbors is now running late to work because they are having to wait for the bus that is waiting for your shoeless daughter and you in your ripped butt pjs.
- You will run into a blind person at the store because you were not looking where you were going. He will be using his cane to guide him closely along the side of the aisle however you, though not blind, are too half-brained to pay attention.
- You will overbook and overlook your schedule so that you miss meetings that you reschdeduled because you previously missed them.
- Your clothes will tighten.
- Your budget will tighten.
- You will drop things and they will shatter.
- You’ll excitedly discover idiotproof recipes such as 7 can soup (you don’t even have to drain the cans!) and you’ll manage to use the wrong 7 cans and your husband will politely eat the soup in silence while kindly and awkwardly smiling at you when you look to see if he’s eating it.
- You will take your son on a bike ride and you will lose him and you will have to call the park ranger and tell him that you lost him and you will find your son playing on the playground never even phased by the fact that the entire park was looking for him.
Look, humility is a gift. It is such a wonderful gift. True pure humility – the real deal, it gives room for so much Jesus and there really is nothing better than Jesus except so much Jesus.
But praying for humility is like praying for hard. Praying for humility will produce moments of sheer suckiness. It will involve tears. It will involve swallowing pride that you didn’t even know existed – big fat ugly hard-to-swallow pride.
As I maneuver through some challenging spaces in my life, I have been heavy hearted by this prayer – the prayer for humility. I know deep down that it’s exactly where I need be focused in my dialogue with God. But I wasn’t prepared for humility’s teacher – humiliation. In my twisted self-focus, I was imagining that a prayer for humility would lead to a day when I’d wake up soft-spirited, gentler and less sassy. In my lack of humility, I expected I’d come out of this prayer and everyone would be all, “That Ali, she’s so humble.” Instead I’m literally face-to-face with my ego staring back at me, and lemme tell ya, she’s a jerk who can’t even cook 7 can soup.
In love, God’s allowed me to stumble about these last couple of weeks. Though it hasn’t been fun, it has been good. And here’s why: Joy.
Whereas normally I would encounter an embarrassing moment and feel shame, I have passed through these moments quite hysterically.
Legit – I can’t stop laughing at myself.
It’s as if God has allowed me to experience a greater sense of who I really am (not God) while simultaneously experiencing His delight in me.
I am literally falling flat on my face and while the horror of knowing the whole world just watched me make an ass of myself is only a few short inches from my nose, I manage to roll over and bust a gut because there I am, facedown before a God who loves me.
Crazy, wonderful, stupid-great joy.
Jesus has swooped in and filled otherwise shame inducing situations with the covering of his abundant love and grace – and I am reveling in that. I am walking around running into blind people with my too-tight underwear showing at the bus stop, and can’t you see? It’s a total riot.
Look, this is only the beginning. This prayer is heavy because I’ve taken stock of my greatness and realized I think I’m a bit too great. I don’t know how to rid myself of that other than to ask God to humble me.
For now, it looks a bit I Love Lucy tragic. I am grateful to be in the slapstick comedy portion of the journey though I might not be laughing at myself much longer. I suspect this journey is going to take me into the depths of my heart, exposing the areas that have been rotting for too long.
Until then, enjoy a few laughs at my expense and if you have a good soup recipe, make it yourself and give it to my husband. Heaven knows I’d only screw it up.