I can be extremely athletic, but as my friends know, I can also be a huge klutz as well. So, it did not surprise me too much when I was on a run around the neighborhood one night when I tripped. However, what did surprise me was what immediately followed.
I felt my arms brace in a way that was familiar but so seldom visited as I felt my body go from vertical to horizontal, and the details in the sidewalk became clearer and clearer. Before I knew it, I found myself on my hands and knees on that cold cement sidewalk.
I stayed there on my hands and knees, motionless in the night. I was stunned. Yes, I can be a klutz and I do trip easily, but my athleticism also always saves me from falling. I stayed still not because I was physically hurt, but because I was not sure what I was feeling.
I did not realize how long it has been since I had fallen until that moment. I realized that the last time I had fallen so helplessly was when I was a little kid. I wondered to myself how I could have fallen without provocation; no one had tripped me, I had stumbled in the tangle of my own two feet.
I dusted myself off and took a seat on the floor as I picked out the gravel and twigs from my palms. As I sat there, I began to realize how overworked I was. My body began to feel empty and heavy all at once as the fatigue set in, and eventually I took a deep breath and relaxed.
I put my hands back and leaned on them as I looked out into the night. I stopped fighting what had happened and just let it sink in. I had fallen and my body had not reacted even if my mind had. I was human and not machine. I was tired.
This all happened around 3 years ago, and yet I remember it all so vividly. I was humbled beyond words that night, and it is a lesson I never forgot.
At the time, I was in a place in my life where I was trying to find my confidence in myself again, and I thought I had. I felt unstoppable because I believed in myself. I felt that I could only trust myself, and if I were to let myself down, I would be able to remedy the pain because I had control.
I was arrogant. I still lacked confidence, but somehow I had learned to depend on myself more than anyone else. I had learned to believe in my own abilities to take care of myself, striking others as incompetent. I thought I knew what I was doing, and I thought I was doing things the right way.
And see the thing is, arrogance can creep up on us when we least expect it. Sometimes we may not mean to be arrogant, but confidence in our youth and abilities can make us so. It may look like a belief that one can power through sleepless nights and fast approaching deadlines without repercussions. It can look like consecutive sleepless and drunken nights with no thought to give yourself a break.
Whatever form it takes, arrogance can get us in trouble. I started believing in my own abilities more than the One who gave me those abilities. I started to have utter confidence in myself rather than God.
Now, I’m not saying confidence is not valuable. It truly is, and I believe that is one of the ways we can show appreciation for the things God has given us, but belief in oneself over God is another thing.
Still, I was also not doing it on purpose. I had not realized how much of a kingdom I had built for myself, rather than for God. It’s funny how youth brings us to our prime, but that same youth can also bring us to overconfidence that draws us away from our humanity.
We have so much energy, so much beauty, and so many opportunities in our youth, but all these things can entice us into straying from who we truly are. We can be at our physical prime whilst being so far removed from the source of that blessing.
And so, God quite literally brought me to my hands and knees that night. He taught me a swift lesson that deeply humbled me to my place in the world and brought me back to my humanity. No matter how high I built my walls, God would always be able to reach me.
As my youth was bringing me barreling down life’s path into my prime, God was longing to bring me closer to himself. He reminded me to stay close to him as I grew stronger, and in doing so he gave me a huge gift.
He reminded me that no matter how skillful or talented I was, and no matter how much hard work I put into being great at what I do, I needed to be humble in the way I used my talents. That instead of using my talents to build walls and protect myself from the world, I needed to remember to serve God and build His Kingdom.
Do you have a humbling moment you never forgot about? What about that moment was humbling for you? How do you feel about it now? Please leave your replies and comments down below!