Gordon McDonald is a preacher, writer and nationally known speaker. This morning I was reading one of his latest musings from Leadership magazine and got a chuckle from it. He was telling about a recent experience he had. He was getting ready to deliver the key note address. The person introducing him was being very flattering and laying it on thick. As he McDonald got up to speak he was giddy in expectation and he immediately felt he had a good rapport with the audience.
As his talk continued he knew it was going well. The people were responding with oohs and aahs. They were with him and when he finished there was thunderous applause. As he was leaving the stage people were coming up to him and he was walking on air.
Now McDonald knew that his job was to give the glory to God and he was careful to do that. Yet he took a little bit for himself and enjoyed the moment. When he got back to the hotel room he called his wife to report in. He shared the exhilaration that he felt and the sense that he could do no wrong that evening. She listened politely for a few minutes and then began questioning him about his schedule for the next day when he was to return home. He gave her the times and flight numbers and all the particulars. As the conversation wound down she told him that she was glad he was coming home and that the leaves in the back yard still needed to be raked and picked up and she was expecting him to get to it shortly after he got back.
McDonald said he couldn't believe it. It seemed like she didn't get it. He had just told her what he had experienced and it seemed a little much for her to think he would hurry home to rake some leaves. Then it hit him. She was doing him a favor by keeping him grounded. She reminded him of where his roots were planted.
The truth is that sometimes we get carried away with ourselves. As President of the PTO or coach of the little league team or even as a Preacher who is known in the community, we can easily begin to believe our own press clippings and start to think we are more important than the next person. That's why it is so important to have people around us who love us and are willing to remind us who we are. They celebrate our triumphs. They also help us to remember to humble ourselves before God. After all, didn't Christ have a few words to say about that.
Jesus said that the greatest among us need to be servants to all. He gave us the perfect example to follow. Jesus said that he came to serve and not to be served. Humility is a gift from God. It is our greatest blessing because it ties our hearts to Christ and allows us to do our best work.