August 8, 2012
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Over the past three days, as we’ve gathered with my aging cousins in conversations, often one in the group will experience a “senior moment”. We have a broad range of ages with my oldest living cousin turning 80 this year. I am the youngest in attendance in my mid-fifties.
Yesterday we drove over for a boat ride on Geneva Lake. Three of my cousins rode along with us when one directed his congratulatory comment to me and Brooksyne who was sitting in the front passenger seat, “So…you and Brooksyne are grandparents again!” Up to this point all six passengers had been engaged in chatter but suddenly all grew quiet in the van. Truth is, we couldn’t figure out where he was coming from.
Mollie, Ester’s pup, joined our family last year so we thought he might be lightheartedly speaking of her as our new addition. We threw the idea out there as a polite response when he suddenly realized he had confused me for my brother, Pat, who became a grandfather again in April.
It made for a funny moment especially with Ester in our presence! He also got a sweet scolding from his wife of fifty years, “Now, Dub, you’ve told me for many years, ‘you don’t have to say everything that comes to your mind’. Remember what you often tell me, ‘think before you speak’.” We had a lot of good laughs at his expense.
Our misspeaks and senior moments have a way of humbling us as well as being part of the color of life.
So let’s consider a misspeak that was immediately turned into a spiritual lesson from a radio announcer who was quick on her feet. Brooksyne was listening to WDAC, our local Christian radio station some time ago. When the announcer gave a brief weather update she reported, “We have 75% humility.” She immediately recognized that she had misspoken and corrected the word to humidity, but then made a quip about the Bible saying we should be completely filled with humility.
The Biblical standard for humility is not 50% or 75% but 100%. Notice in the daily Scripture text Paul writes, “Be completely humble.” This is an aspiration that I suppose few of us have attained. Are any of you reading this completely humble? Actually it seems to me that anyone making such a claim would be proud of their humility thus negating being completely humble!
Peter wrote, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Today may we all clothed in humility, however God chooses to bring that about!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we know that none of us are 100% humble, for we are clothed in these mortal, fallible bodies. But we do know that Jesus is the model of One completely humble in His humanity and divinity. He did not consider equality with You, our Father, something to be grasped but took on His personhood as a man and became obedient to death on the cross. We look to Him as the supreme example of humility and obedience. As we clothe ourselves in Your righteousness we can overcome the pride that is ever before us. We recognize that no good thing can come from us, but all that is good comes from You. Remind us daily that the attitude of gratitude is the antidote for feelings of pride. When we acknowledge that everything we have and all that we are is due to Your merciful blessings we are humbled and grateful to You, the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.
Note from Brooksyne: I’ve often thought back to my freshman year in Bible College when I was in an intense study of I & II Corinthians. I was growing spiritually and I was very committed to many hours of daily prayer and Bible Study. In fact many people began to take notice and came to me with their prayer needs. I began, in my spirit, to realize that people were looking to me and sadly it began to pump my spiritual pride! Eventually the Scripture, “Pride comes before the fall” came home to me and prayer became a serious struggle. I realized that my spiritual growth birthed in humility died in my personal battle with pride. As the saying goes, “Humility is a virtue that, once you think you have it, you’ve lost it!”
Another memorable vacation misspeak: About ten years ago Brooksyne, Ester and I dined in the Crystal Dining Room, a fine historic restaurant in the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The hotel sits on the top of a mountain overlooking the charming Victorian resort village.
It was a very busy setting with many people eating. Several orders we placed required the weary server to come back to our table and apologetically inform us that they had run out of that food entree. Following our delicious meal the rather tired server asked, “Are you ready for deodorant?” Looking at her in great surprise I responded to the effect, “Well, do you really think I need it? I just showered this morning!”
Her face reddened as she immediately realized what had come from her lips. She was even more shocked at her words than we were which led her to quickly apologize, “I got my tongue twisted and meant to ask ‘Are you ready to order dessert?’” You can imagine how many times Brooksyne, Ester or I asked the other on our trip home, “Are you ready for deodorant?” It never failed to bring a roaring laughter among the three of us.
Yesterday we took a narrated boat tour around Geneva Lake on the “Lady Of The Lake”. Hundreds of historic and palatial like homes border the lake, many of the homeowners with name recognitions due to their various business successes, such as Andes of Andes Candies (the chocolate dinner mints) or the famous Wrigley name (Wrigley’s gums), etc.
Richard and Pat
Richard is a cousin about eight years older and has a remarkable memory, recalling by name each classmate in his grammar school class in Harwood, Missouri.* He was also a star basketball player for Walker High School and at that time he might as well have been Michael Jordan in my young eyes.
Last night we had our reunion meal and Doug, a very colorful and humorous cousin, shared memories with participation from the group. He is pointing to a favorite hangout where we grandchildren in the fifties and sixties hung out; the Bank of Harwood, MO where our papa, uncle and aunt worked.
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