OF FAITH AND FABLES
By Bob Haynes
Oh, It’s Hard To Be Humble
Have you ever had the feeling that the words in the song described you? What song you ask? “Oh, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.” I’ve been there a few times… not often but, to be honest, more than once. And boy was I wrong. Let me illustrate how we sometimes find ourselves thinking one thing only to find out that we’re way off base.
There’s a charming story that Thomas Wheeler, one-time CEO of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, tells on himself: He and his wife were driving along an interstate highway when he noticed that their car was low on gas. Wheeler got off the highway at the next exit and soon found a rundown gas station with just one gas pump. He asked the lone attendant to fill the tank and check the oil; then went for a little walk around the station to stretch his legs.
As he was returning to the car, he noticed that the attendant and his wife were engaged in an animated conversation. The conversation stopped as he paid the attendant. But as he was getting back into the car, he saw the attendant wave and heard him say, “It was great talking to you.”
As they drove out of the station, Wheeler asked his wife if she knew the man. She readily admitted she did. They had gone to high school together and had dated steadily for about a year.
“Boy, were you lucky that I came along,” bragged Wheeler. “If you had married him, you’d be the wife of a gas station attendant instead of the wife of a chief executive officer.”
“My dear,” replied his wife, “if I had married him, he’d be the chief executive officer and you’d be the gas station attendant.”
There are times in our lives when we have a real perception problem. We think we have the proper perspective on something when in fact we’re way off. I’m sure the CEO had also thought he fit the song: “Oh it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.” Then, boom! His wife’s comment brought him back to reality. And she did so, in a loving way. Yes, it may be hard to be humble… but humbleness gets God’s attention because it means that you realize that He has given you all you have. Sometimes we forget that it’s not all about us.
Isaiah 66:2 points out this truth about humility: “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” Shalom!