A Lesson In Humilty
On Sunday morning, I awoke from a peaceful sleep as dawn was ascending upon on the ranch. Since I had spent my time soaking up as much of this experience as I possibly could thus far, I had not yet had the opportunity to take photos of the ranch, the horses, and the beauty of God’s creation that was abundant around us. I quietly exited my tent, so as not to wake my tent-mate, Lisa (who quickly became a friend to me and someone I cherish deeply!), and headed to my car with a pep in my step. You see… on my three hour drive to the ranch, I had made sure that my battery was charged to the fullest and was so excited to spend the morning capturing memories to share with all of you. I reach in for my camera, close the car door, and start heading for the pond. As I took off the lens cap and turned on the camera, I was met with a small box of defeat. “Insert memory card,” read the error message looming on my screen.
My heart sank… days earlier, my husband, Alex, and I had discussed with each other that whomever removed the card to download photos onto the computer was to immediately return it to the camera (as this wasn’t the first time this has happened). As I replayed this in my mind, I began to feel irritated and frustrated, knowing full well that the only place the memory card could be was back in the computer at home. But then, I stopped. Our entire weekend thus far had proven to help us shed our negative emotions… to control the things we can and accept the things we cannot. Another area of life Alex and I have discussed in thorough detail has been the elusive quality of humility. I am constantly in awe of how simple humility is… it’s simple to grasp, easy to attain. But in our own imperfection, for so many of us it proves nearly impossible to keep at a constant. When do we choose to accept to the opportunities to apply humility at every chance we get? Can we love others solely to love them, leaving all thoughts of benefits to ourselves behind?
I took a deep breath and realized that this predicament I was in was not my husband’s fault… not even a little bit. Instead, I realized that I was the one to pack up the camera, to grab the charger… and finally, it was my responsibility to double check that I had a memory card for the trip. When I accepted the responsibility for the situation, I felt good about myself and I felt a relief from the negative emotions that had been surging through me moments before. Although I could not take photos on my DSLR, I still had my phone to save the memories for me and anyone who saw the value in what the photos represented, rather than the quality they displayed. In the world we live in today, every day is a struggle to cultivate humility. We’re taught by society to put ourselves first… but often times, when it comes to accepting responsibility, the logic is reversed and we are quick to blame one another. What if instead, we put the needs and the feelings of others first, even the times when we are ourselves our hurt? Can we look past the fog and the haze of our own feelings? And when situations go awry, can we find some way in which we can honestly accept full responsibility? Can we spare our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors of the negative feelings the air of this world so often promotes?
Growing up, my mother always reminded me of why she chose my middle name. When I write my middle name on official documents, I write it as “Joy”… but to her, it is JOY. She would often sit me down and tell me to remember the order of importance of who to put first in my life. (J)ehovah, (O)thers, and (Y)ourself. When we put God first, we become someone who lives in an upright way, is encouraging to others, and who strives to make a difference in the hearts of many. When we put others ahead of ourselves, joy and peace become abundant in our lives, for we know that we are contributing to the good in another person’s life. By the time we get to ourselves, our hearts are already full of satisfaction because we have lived our life unselfishly and we are one step closer to living the life that God intended from the very beginning. As I write, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes of all time: “There is nothing more than to love and be loved.” Truly, humility stems from the love you have for Jehovah, for Others, and for Yourself.
This post is part of a series from my experience of attending the Glamp, Pamp and Revamp retreat at The Medicine Horse Project in Caliente, CA.