Living in Boston, in my college days, this store became one of my favorite places to shop for fun urban styles. I love looking back on those days and thinking of lessons I've learned since then. Lately, I keep learning about a very different h&m. And its an h&m that I so desperately need.
I'm talking about humility and meekness. The Lord has been teaching me about these character qualities for many months now. I have felt o so convicted of my pride and my impertinent ways. I like to think of humility as understanding God's place and meekness as understanding my own place. When I think of who God really is and the love and grace that he has shared with me, I am instantly humbled. I can see and feel how much higher, and greater, and more amazing my God is. And knowing that about my God is what motivates me to be meek. Life experience has taught me that there is plenty that I can do on my own, but when I remember who he is, I want to do things with Him and in His way which is always better for me in the end. I read online somewhere that meekness is great power under perfect control.
I went to woman's conference recently. It was my first time going to this sort of thing and it really was a lovely time. I learned many many things that day and one of the things that struck me was the amount of "you're worth it!" and "you deserve so much more!" and other such self esteem boosting quotes that I heard that day. Maybe I'm not like most other women, but I knew even then that these weren't the kinds of things that I personally needed to be hearing right then at that moment. Self esteem hasn't been a big problem in my life really. If anything, my problem has always been my pride.
Maybe its because I've been raised in a post women's rights world where songs like "Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you!" have been used to promote a woman's equal ability to the things a man can do. Maybe its because I grew up as the right mix of girly girl and tom boy rolled into one. I loved playing sports and such as a kid. I also loved keeping up with the latest trends. When I thought about what I wanted to be "when I grew up" I was never held back. There were times when I wanted to be a lawyer, there was even a time when I wanted to join the military and be a soldier. In all of this, I always still wanted to be a mom. Of course, I couldn't see how any kind of profession would ever get in the way of that. It didn't cross my mind once that having both a profession and a family would require an immense amount of juggling and balance.
My pursuit of humility and meekness has led me to think about all these things. It seems to me that, as a whole, our culture has begun to teach, especially to young girls, that humility and meekness are not qualities to be desired. Of course we discourage pride, its down right unattractive! But we do not encourage humility let alone meekness. Perhaps this is in response to a past and present misunderstanding of these qualities. Or maybe its a response to many woman feeling these qualities imposed upon them simply because they were born as girls and not boys. But humility and meekness are characteristics for us all! Christ Jesus himself is the best example of humility and meekness that I could ever think of!
Philippians 2 says, "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Our Lord, Jesus, gave up everything despite being worthy of it all. He really could do and be anything. Yet he humbled himself and chose to be one of us. And he gave God, our Father, absolute control over the outcome of his life. Lately, I feel challenged to do the same.
Lord, I am willing to be whatever you want me to be no matter how lowly it may seem and I will give you absolute control over the outcome by practicing obedience to you!