Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crashing Off the Mountaintop

Yesterday, I had a big day.  A great day professionally.  I'm planning on writing a separate post about how the event showed how God still does big miracles for people doing His work (not me), but today's post is all about me.  The self-involved prideful me.  There are two of me.  The one who is working hard to stay in the middle of God's will and not be prideful, and the natural me that can be pride-filled. 

God knows pride is one of my biggest struggles, so He made sure to "help me" learn a lesson yesterday.  The charity lunch I chaired for a sold out crowd of 400 was jam-packed with opportunities for pride.  I received compliments on how I looked, how I spoke, how I ran the event, you name it.  Don't misunderstand me - there is NOTHING wrong with receiving and accepting compliments.  There's also nothing wrong with taking satisfaction in job well done.  There's only a problem if you let it run amok. 

I was on SUCH a high after the event.  Everything had been taken down and I'd changed clothes at the hotel and couldn't have planned for a better day.  I had lots of sweet friends and family praying for me, and I couldn't wait to give the happy report.  Plus, Bray and I had planned to go out to dinner as a family to celebrate, so I wouldn't have to cook.  I had just finished sitting next to a CEO and a Senior Vice President of major energy corporations, rubbing elbows with the creme of Houston's energy crop, and now I was headed home to relive the high points. 

It didn't take long for the evening to unravel fast.  Things began with a promising start.  We all piled into the car and got a big booth in the corner of our favorite little Mexican food restaurant where we could keep the kids trapped.  Two minutes into our getting settled, the little lady got sick.  On me.  We'd not yet ordered any food, so I jumped up with her in hand and said, "let's go."  Unfortunately, that led to a little split in the parents united front. Bray felt we should stay because she probably just got choked and we'd be fine to go ahead and have dinner, but I thought she wasn't through.  Because I insisted we go, he was still angry about it this morning.  All in all, it was no fun because it meant I didn't get any dinner (the fridge was a little empty) and I had to go home and COOK for the boys. 

While I cooked, he left to run errands, and we had the next big unraveling of the night.  There were a series of each child needing to go to the "big" potty to do big business.  Unfortunately, the last one (the baby), was apparently having a little stomach problems of his own and there was crap (literally) coming out of his pull ups every which way, including on the carpet, on the tile, on his back, and you get the idea.  So I'm solo, dinner things are strewn all over the kitchen, three bottomless kids are in the bathroom, one in the tub because it was the only way I could tackle the situation, my jeans and shirt are wet and stained, and I'm despondent.  In a matter of less than THREE hours, I went from feeling pretty impressed with myself, having champagne toasts with my team, wearing a gorgeous new suit and coif in tact, to sitting alone on a floor with three toddlers with no clothes on covered in gunk. 

You don't get a crystal award for that.  No one applauds the messy tired mom in the bathroom floor.  Folks don't rush to introduce themselves to the woman scrubbing poop out of the carpet. 

I was pretty miserable, but it was also a great reality check.  I am no better or more talented or ably qualified than anyone.  Whatever I have is a gift from God.  Any talent or skill I draw upon for "success," has been given to me by my generous Heavenly Father.  And when I get too big for my britches, then God is pretty good about giving me a strong dose of reality.  It's no fun, and my shine had gone completely dull by 8 pm last night, but sometimes those reminders are important.  It gives you perspective.  It reminds you of how critical your faith is to your every day life. 

And my day might have gone the exact same way if I hadn't been so puffed up about my big success, but I wonder if things might have been a little less disastrous if I'd been feeling more humble when I came home yesterday afternoon.  I'll never know, but I do know that the next time I have a BIG day, last night will serve as a reminder to me that every good and perfect gift comes from God (and not me). 

Proverbs 16 - All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.  The LORD detests all the proud of heart....Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

James 1 - Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

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