Humility, trust and gratitude are not often, virtues found in the young.
By saying this, I have no desire to be mean, critical or insensitive. It just that humility is learned from many failures. Humility is learned when you powerfully discover your personal limitations, when you gain a true knowledge of your deficiencies, and deep awareness of how much you do not know, what you cannot do and what you will not achieve in this life.
Humility also comes as we realize that most of what we think we have gained and acquired is not only due to personal hard work. It takes an extended season of life to learn that all that we have is gift and that we are much more grace-made than self-made.
Humility comes as we learn that apart from God we cannot do much (even that word may be unusually generous). We are far more dependent on God than we naturally recognize or easily admit. He is after all, the one in whom we live and move and have our being, as he sustains the universe with his power.
The lessons of life (failure, limitations, deficiencies, weaknesses, foibles, proclivity to temptation, proneness to wander, weak before our besetting sins) take time.
And they take a sustained, penetrating reflective posture.
These lessons, when they are given, often go unnoticed by those in younger adulthood. For that is the season of life when we are most able to perform, most confident in our selves, when the world seems large before us, full of endless opportunity for those who have the will to seize it. And when we are most action prone and averse to extensive reflection.
as disappointments accumulate
as we collect the pain of multiple failures
as doors successively close and options dwindle
as personal limitations become more pronounced . . .
that humility MAY be gained.
Of course, anger and bitterness or the lethargy of depression may be chosen instead of humility.
But if we go the pathway of humility, we are posied to gain wisdom:
That all of life is indeed gift and grace
That we are invited to live in faith and trust, dependency and surrender to God.
And that gratitude for what we have, not grumblings for what has been withheld, is the only way of emotional health.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International