Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pride & Pedastals.

It's been a few days since I've written a post - that was intentional.  I felt that with all that I had going on last week, and not feeling so well, that I would take a break from blogging.  It was great, it cleared my mind and allowed me to focus on the moment and there were a lot of great moments!  I received my Indian VISA, I spent time with some great people, and I just spent time being really present.
Ashamedly, however, they were not all good moments.  I had an experience on my way to pick up my VISA on Saturday, that spurred some reflection.  I was driving the 401 to Toronto and back for the 2nd time that week.  I drive a lot and have been driving a lot for more than half my life.  As a result of that and the fact that my dad was a driver in the Air Force and taught me everything he knows, I consider myself a pretty skilled driver.  So here I was, getting overly annoyed with those who appeared to be less than adept drivers.  People who did not drive at least the speed limit, people who did not use their signal to indicate a turn or lane change and people who rode their brakes were frustrating me to the point I heard myself saying out loud "Really?" in disbelief. 

Then I realized - it was only 17 years ago that I was the person who drove tentatively, the one who forgot to signal, or who made improper lane changes or continually rode the brake.  How soon we forget.  

I've also experienced this in Christian circles, not in reference to driving, but in how we can easily forget how far we have come in our spiritual walk and fall into the trap of judging others. Not growing up in a Christian home, I thought myself perhaps immune from the temptation to judge others, being able to identify with them.  However the longer I'm a Christian and the more I grow in wisdom, and experience,  the more I seem to face the temptation to put myself above others, and to get frustrated with the behaviours of those who simply are less experienced or less informed. This I believe is one of the most dangerous places we can be as Christians, it's a place you get to by way of pride.  Be wary of the proverbial pedestal you may find yourself upon.  It's just when you think you have made it or you think you know all there is to know about something, that life has a way of opening your eyes as to just how far you still have to go, and how little you really know. "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." ~Romans 12:3

Half way home, again, I found myself annoyed by the 3 expensive cars that passed me at alarming speeds.  I was unimpressed, condemning them, and considering calling 911. Then I noticed my own speed and realized that while I was not going as fast as they were, I certainly wasn't doing the speed limit.  It was an obvious plank in my own eye moment.  Here I was so concerned about someone else's wrong doing, that I had completely ignored or even justified my my own. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." ~ Matthew 7:3-5

"Pride is a sin in us by nature; we need to be cautioned and armed against it."  When speaking of Pride and Pedastals, I am reminded of this cliche but trustworthy saying "Pride comes before a Fall."

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