I have never actually eaten crow meat, though I may have shot some of them as a kid growing up on an Iowa farm. So, I literally don’t know how they taste. I HAVE had egg on my face when eating my breakfast carelessly or too fast, so I know how that looks and feels. You may have had times in your life when you let people down by something you did or didn’t do, and then endured the embarrassment of your mistake.
I am writing this after accomplishing one of those “eat humble pie” moments. I failed to register our church for the Mead Days celebration after getting lots of volunteers to man the booth and give their time for this annual outreach in the park. I kept waiting to receive the location of our booth in my email, and when it didn’t come, I called the lady in charge only to learn we were not on the guest list this year since no one had registered us. Oops! That would be me. The pastor isn’t supposed to make such a blunder.
Tail between your legs is how it makes you feel. What to do? I could try to find someone else to blame but no one comes to mind. I could blame it on early onset senility, and many would believe that, but it wouldn’t change the shame. I could beat myself up, but there seems no gain in doing that either. So, what is the Christian caught in such a moment to do?
The Lord gave me an idea that will at least give us a presence in the park that day, and by the time this article is printed I will know if it had any merit. Since all of us from time to time do something improper that hurts others, or hurts a cause, let me share some Scriptural advice we can all take to heart when it is ‘our turn in the barrel’.
James 4:6 tells us this: “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore, it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble’”. God knows my heart, and He knows whether or not pride was doing its thing in me in the planning stages of this event, that caused me to neglect filling out and sending in the registration as I thought I had. One thing I have learned in my nearly 50 years of following the Lord is that there are two clear ways to gain humility in this life. I can humble myself, or I can be humiliated. The first is hard to do, and the second hard to bear.
No one ever choked swallowing their pride, that is for sure. I am not choking now as I write this, though I am saddened by my error. Now people at Abundant Life will know I am as human as they are! Oh my goodness, did I really think they didn’t know that already? I make plenty of gaffes- sometimes even in sermons- so this one should come as no shock to those who have put up with me for 16 years here.
Gaining humility is worth whatever it costs. Like on those TV ads that talk of this being good and that being better and _ being priceless. Walking in humility is priceless. The person growing in humility is better enabled to serve the Lord than the one walking in pride. I do not wish to have God oppose me, do you? I wish to stay on His good side and progressing in humility will give me plenty of grace as I go about my daily life.
So, I thank the Lord for this opportunity He has allowed me to inch ahead in humility and learn that eating crow isn’t all that bad if it makes you a better man. Sorry about those black feathers hanging out of my mouth!
Jim pastors Abundant Life Church at 4380 Highway 66. Join us some Sunday at 10:00 am to see if the black feathers are yet gone.