Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
I ask God for a lot of stuff! Mostly it’s stuff for other people but honestly, I ask a lot. One of the things I ask for most frequently is humility. Lord, please get me out of the way so you can work through me. I just want to do what he asks me to without getting all big headed. I try really hard to remember that I’ve got nothin…anything good that comes from me is all HIM! I also ask him to teach me and remind me any way he sees fit. Sometimes he’s subtle, sometimes he's bold and sometimes he’s just downright amazing.
At the end of the first week of school I was feeling pretty confident in my “week as a teacher”. I felt like I had it all together and things had gone really well. I thought after a couple decades of doing this job maybe I had it all figured out. With that kind of thinking I should have smelled a storm brewing cause just like any other time my humility gets a little foggy there is always a storm on it’s way.
One of the jobs I have at the end of the day is to manage the kids who line up to go to the busses through the west doors. In order to get to the busses safely the kids need to follow two simple rules; first, stay on the sidewalk and don’t cut across the corner of the parking lot and second, don’t run. Every day for a week we went over the rules. We made up silly songs about them, we took turns repeating the rules and we even played a fill in the blank game about the rules. I thought I’d done a stellar job of instructing and the kids would have it down pat! I even remember thinking, I’ve been so funny, creative, witty and effective I’ll bet nobody will forget what to do. On the last day of the week one of my favorite kindergartners wiggled his way to the front of the line and I said, “Ok, one last time, who can give me the rules?” The kindergartner raised his hand and enthusiastically said “I know” “great,” I said, “what is the first and most important rule?” He looked at me with a blank stare and a pause and then said, “Oh I got it…NO PICKLES!”
My shining moment of teacher excellence was reduced to “no pickles!” Where had I gone wrong? Pickles…where on earth did that come from? After a whole lot of laughter we came up with the correct rules but as he skipped down the sidewalk to the bus he was singing a little tune about not eating pickles. I thought I was so important and effective and all my work was reduced to a glorified condiment!
God hears our prayers and that day, he knew my humility needed a little help. It was a good day for a lesson and he chose to use an adorable little boy with an enormous sense of humor and an unrivaled spirit to give me a little lesson. I thanked him both for the lesson and for the beautiful way he chose to deliver it.
A Seed To Plant: Where has God used a “No Pickles” message to get your attention? Take some time to ask him for the grace you need most and then take note when he answers your prayer and sends that grace.
Blessings on your day!
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