Modern Times

waiting-man Our world is one hot mess.  We are polarized, captivated by our own anger at one another. No one wins.
 

But, these words keep pushing me :If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14  (NRSV)

Humbleness… well that trait went out of style years ago, replaced by an insatiable appetite about ourselves.  We tuned into the stationWIFM-What’s In it For Me, pushing and shoving our way through life just to get an edge up, a tiny piece of something more than the stranger next door.  We want it, therefore we take it.  Nothing else matters but our own point of view.

We didn’t get here overnight, you know. It took time, well planned and orchestrated effort to develop a nation of people primarily fixed on their own needs and desires. It took self-help books, talk shows, slogans, and messages on our walls to create a world of takers instead of givers. “Believe in yourself,” “fight for yourself” and “look out for number one!”

Somewhere in our effort to foster healthy self-esteem, we created a monster and unleashed it across America. The beast invaded the presidential elections, the nightly news and the streets of our cities. We felt a need to be right above all others, from city hall to our kids’ ball games, nothing was off-limits. Profanities, sarcastic humor, accusations, and bullish behavior was not only condoned, it was exemplified.  There was no filter, no attempt to be nice, and no effort to be kind to one another, let alone be ‘humble’.

We lost the value in being humble, to lift up the soul of another person with equal honor and respect. Humbleness underscores kindness, generosity, compassion and human dignity. To  humble ourselves is to stop pushing, shoving, and accusing; to let the other go first, congratulate the winner,  be a gracious opponent and put down the weapons of violence.  It allows us to be silent, to experience the moment and to recognize God plunked down in our midst.

Humbleness changes our perspective on life.  We discover that we are not  center stage of the universe, nor have we ever been.  Life is not all about us!  We have no choice but to fall down to our knees, seek God’s favor and ask forgiveness of our selfish ways. We admit  that we are thirsty and hungry, compelled to drink in God’s perfection like a beautiful wine and share in the holy bread. We long to be refreshed,  for the peace that fills our empty souls and heals our broken land. 
 
God, in your mercy, hear us.