Seven years ago, about this time of year, my wife and I shuttered our business and filed for personal bankruptcy. We lost most everything. Business. Home. Cars. I’m thankful for the experience now, but those were dark times.
“What occupation and income do you expect,” the judge asked. I had no idea. Back “home,” Linda and I packed the house, unsure of our destination. Our Australian Shepherd, Molly, took ill. After three days, Molly couldn’t eat or drink. She couldn’t stand. I carried her where she needed to go.
I put her in the proverbial cardboard box with an old towel and headed to the Vet. I complained to God with each mile marker I passed. “Is this a bad Country song? My dog? You’re taking my dog?” It’s a good thing I didn’t have a self-driving vehicle, or my truck would have left me too.
At the time, I was reading a weathered paperback called, Humility, the Beauty of Holiness, by Andrew Murray. A South African revivalist in the late nineteenth century, Murray believed that when you find yourself humbled, you should accept the humiliation like you were embracing the cross.
I sat in the Vet’s office, stroking Molly’s head. I was a proud man, not wanting anyone to know how spectacularly I had failed. However, I remembered the book and emailed an old friend to ask if he knew of anyone hiring. Almost immediately, he answered, inviting me to stop by the office after the workday. At 5:30, I was there in jeans and a sweatshirt to “catch-up.” As it turned out, corporate executives were in town for one day only, and I was the last interview before they headed to the airport. Miraculously, I was back in the software business.
I learned one thing, really. There are different kinds of pride, and yes, some types are OK, if not, admirable. There is another pride, however, and I know from experience that it’s invisible in the mirror. It’s pride in our wealth, power, or class. It’s ill-placed confidence in our possessions, or our ability to define our destiny, even our delusions of youth and health. It is a self-satisfied view of the lives we believe we create by the strength of our inherent goodness.
Covid-19 has America… no, the World, sitting in the Vet’s office. Our economies, our standard of living, our lives, and our health are waiting on our choices. Maybe it’s time we humble ourselves and call an old friend. In James 4:8, we read, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
And Molly? Ear infection. She lived another five happy years.
Thanks for reading. I’m back after nearly four years of silence. If you enjoyed the post, please vote with a comment or a re-post!