To Walk Humbly With Our God

Week of August 28, 2016

The Gospel tells us that whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.  How do we walk humbly with our God?  Over the past weeks watching the Olympics we have seen athletes both exalt themselves as they reached the medal podium and also some who have been very humble about their winnings.  Week after week our young people watch football celebrations in the end zone and players taunting others.  Years ago I asked a father about how his son did and if he made the golf team.  He said he did not because he could not get out of his head the trash talking that went on to put others down just so they could make the team.  It threw him off as the young son thought golf was a gentleman’s game and always played it that way.  Gestures, taunting, bullying have become a part of the conversation and at times it seems like we are watching gladiators in a coliseum. We have become accepting of the expression.  This makes it all the more difficult to walk humbly with God.

The Latin root for the word humble comes from humus, which means earth. The closer we come to the earth, the more we bow down, the greater God can be.  When we move to those moments when we have been humbled, when we go to those places when we know we have done something wrong and we have to embrace it and admit it, a sense of humility runs through us.  For me this happened just last week when I had to return to a doctor who I know personally and he had to remove a second tooth because of my lack of taking care of things that I should have.  It was a humble ride to his office, and a humble time waiting for him to tell me I could have prevented this.  From embarrassment to sheer acceptance of the consequences of my actions, I tread humbly into his office.  This is one kind of humility.

The other is quite opposite. It happens when we realize God and His gift of our talents have made whatever accomplishment we have happen, that it was not us, ourselves but truly from God.  In those moments too, humility is the realization that this only was accomplished through the hands of God.  At times I experience this when I said something in the moment and a person comes up to me at a later time and asks, do you remember when you said this to me in the hospital or at the funeral home, or at a meeting?  I really can’t recall the moment when the words were exactly what the person needed to hear in the moment. It was all God.  When that takes place, I simply praise God.  I simply thank Him for whatever He did because I know it was not me.

To walk humbly with God is to walk knowing we must rely on Him, we can’t do anything good without Him and we know He was the one who accomplishes everything we do.

As the journey continues, may we walk humbly with our God.

Rev. John J. Ouper