My mom sends me an encouraging text message every single Sunday morning. She usually tells me what a great day of worship it is going to be, how proud of me she is, how blessed I am to get to do what I do, and she often sends a sweet reminder to stay humble and give God all the glory.
Many years ago, I wrote about the tension between passion and humility, but today I am reminded of the even more common tension between confidence and humility. I remember just a few years ago having the opportunity to go snow skiing for the first time. I remember driving up the mountain, when my friend told me that the black diamond was the only slope that was open that day. I told him: It’s ok, I’ve got this. He asked, if I was sure and I told him, I am a fast learner and I am sure that I will pick up skiing quickly. (Famous Last Words)
I remember getting there and putting my skis on in the parking lot. We had to ski from the parking lot down to the lift. I remember getting to the edge of the parking lot and thinking to myself, you have got to be kidding me. This is straight down, and this is just to get to the lift. Well, it was too late to back out now, so over the edge (of the parking lot) I went. I quickly made it to the lift and enjoyed a beautiful ten minute lift ride to the top of the mountain. But I could not enjoy the views, because all I saw was this narrow path of snow with what seemed like fatal drop offs at every edge. Long story short, I zigged crashed, zagged crashed, tore my rotator cuff, crashed, sat on my skis and tried to ride down, crashed. I eventually made it down the mountain about an hour later and I was done for the day. I was over confident and as a result humility was forced upon me.
Proverbs 18:12 “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud…” (So appropriate)
Proverbs 11:22 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
I was reminded of this today when I saw an incredible YouTube video on a channel called Smarter Every Day. Destin gets the once in a lifetime opportunity to ride with the Thunderbirds. He goes through several maneuvers but ends up tapping out at 7.2 G’s before the 9G maneuver. As I watched, I literally thought, oh come on, why would you “tap out”?! I would never tap out on an opportunity like that, but then he said these powerful words. Sometimes when we are overconfident, humility is forced upon us.
I have not only experienced this on the ski slopes, but even in worship ministry. There have been times where I did not prepare like I should because I was over confident. Times when I was overconfident and wrong about something, and in each of these moments, I caused humility to be forced upon me. I think it is fair to say, we will experience humility one way or another, either by our own choosing, or by force. The Word of God says that humility comes before honor. So, let’s choose to humble ourselves. Yes, confidence is critical in many ways, but it must be balanced with humility.
Here is a 30 minute video, very instructional and exciting. If you don’t have time, watch the last 5 minutes!
Here is what Destin said, and I could relate.
This is what I learned flying with the Air Force, Thunderbirds. Sometimes in life, I get over confident. Maybe I am overconfident because of something I learned in a book, or a life experience that is similar to this one, or because of a past success that I have had.
If I don’t approach each new experience with an appropriate balance between confidence and humility, there is a good chance that I am going to be humbled by force.
Moving forward whether it is a physical challenge, or a discussion with a friend, I am going to maintain that balance between confidence and humility so that I don’t look stupid.
Thanks Destin, Thanks Mom!