We’re midway through the season of Lent and Winter is on her way out. It was 65° in DC yesterday and I couldn’t wait to get outside. Instead of having lunch in the cafeteria, I decided to take a walk to one of my favorite spots, Sweet Green. The sun was shining. The wind was blowing. I felt like a kid at recess! There was only one problem with my lunchtime walk. Walking.
A few weeks ago, I ventured out to work in the aftermath of a snow storm. We were granted a delayed arrival but I wanted to beat the parents whose children were delayed as well and secure a parking space at the Metro. So, I headed out a little earlier than I needed to. I figured that the sun was shining and most of the ice had melted and despite cautionary warnings from my man-friend, I headed in. (I never listen to him, but that’s a discussion for another day.) Everything seemed to be going well. Traffic was light and I got a great parking space. The elevator was out but that wasn’t a problem. It was an opportunity to advance in all of my Fitbit challenges. I was almost at the station level when I slipped down the concrete steps.
My first thought was to save my planner from getting damaged in the pool of water that was just about to swallow my tote bag. After securing my belongings and exchanging pleasantries with the gentleman in the staircase behind me, I proceeded to stand up and realized that I couldn’t. My ankle was injured and somehow, I had to get up. I managed to drag myself up, hobble back to my car, and drive my wet, wounded self back home. Gratefully, an x-ray at the urgent care confirmed that my ankle was only sprained and I was given a lovely parting gift to take home.
Even though my ankle wasn’t fractured in this fall, something was definitely starting to break. My pride. Anyone who knows me knows that I am FIERCELY independent. It’s a symptom of what I like to call COCS- Chronic Only Child Syndrome. I was this child:
Spraining my ankle has forced me to slow down, take some time to rest and heal, and YES, to also ask for help.
This resistance to asking for help has plagued me in so many areas of my life. It’s the reason why I sat at work until the late afternoon on Christmas Eve, one month into my new job, almost in tears because I was having trouble with some software. When one of the senior members of the IT department came through the office to give holiday greetings, I nearly accosted her in exasperation. “Why didn’t you just call us and ask for help,” she asked me. I told her that I thought I had to figure it out on my own. At the root of this rugged independence is a sly little fox called pride.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov 16:18
Pride is an elevated sense of one’s own worth. More specifically, pride is conceit. A proud person thinks of him or herself more highly than they ought. Pride led to King Uzziah’s downfall and almost caused King Hezekiah a premature death. The Bible says that pride leads to disgrace and is at the center of strife. The Lord hates pride and exalts the humble. Proud is an unhealthy state to find one’s self in.
Even though I would love to be at the top of the leader board in my step challenges, I am grateful for the divine appointment with some cement steps that caused me to part with a fleshly stumbling block. What I know for sure is that when we yield our will to the Lord’s shaping, He always leave us better than He found us. When this Lenten season is over, I hope to be found on the other side of pride.