Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a gadget freak. Show me some new technology and start the tractor-beam, I’m sucked right in. One such tech that our family loves, that probably graces many of your kitchen countertops as well, is a Smart Screen/Speaker. We use our Google Home on a daily basis for things like playing music, looking up YouTube videos, searching the internet and to set timers and alarms. One feature that I particularly love is the slideshow feature. I’ve set it to play an album of our favorite photos, from vacations to family gatherings, to childhood pictures, to my old OSU Cheerleading memories. It’s a great walk down memory lane.
Recently, I came across one from a recent ski trip with some family and friends. I recalled what a fun time we had, and one specific memory popped into my head: hitting the jumps. One specific run had several smaller jumps that led up to one big jump at the bottom. I had waited for everyone else to go down first before I started my run. I remember thinking to myself, “There’s no need to risk doing any crazy jumps if there’s no one there to watch me.” And then it occurred to me, I’m a prideful mess! What a reality check. “I’m only going to do a big jump if someone is there to give me all the praise and fist bumps I deserve?” Really? Aye yai yai. “Forgive my pride Lord,” I thought. “Keep me humble.”
Well, be careful what you pray for. God’s got a great sense of humor. The rest of the day, the only two times someone shot some video of me jumping, I wiped out . . . both times. KERPLUNK! My gear was laid out like it was in a yard sale; a couple poles over here, a ski over there, my hat down there. Yeah, good times. Remembering my former conversation with God, I quickly realized that Matthew 23:12 was probably written specifically for me: For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Or, as is more personally accurate in this case, “For whoever seeks to show-off, thinking they’d win a gold medal in the Over-50 Big Air competition at the X-Games, will crash and burn.”
I have a feeling that many of you may not think you’re as prideful as this adventurous pastor, but here’s a good litmus test for you; when you are shown a group picture that you’re in, who’s the first person you look at? Umm, yeah, me too – – Yourself! We check our smile, our hair, or stance, our sucked-in stomach. (TMI?) And then we “approve” the pic or ask to delete and re-take.
If we can be honest enough with ourselves, we realize that we are, by nature, vain and prideful beings. What separates a follower of Christ from everyone else is our pursuit of holiness and our willingness to be conformed into the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus!
Lord, thanks for your patience and grace with this “work in progress!”
~ Pastor Mitch