In Luke 14:10-11 Jesus says: “But when you are invited [to a wedding feast], take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
When I was playing Junior C hockey, I was occasionally called up to the Junior A team to fill in for injured players.
As the game started, the first line went on the ice, then the second. Your natural inclination is to shift closer to the door to be ready for your turn.
Um, but no. I was corrected. ‘You sit in the fourth position. We’re going to rotate the first three lines. You just sit there. You only go when I tell you to go.’
Talk about a lesson in humility! ‘We’re only going to use you if our top lines need more rest. When that’s needed, take a quick shift, don’t mess up, and don’t get a penalty.’ In Junior C you’re a big deal, but in Junior A, not so much!
It’s a story about hockey specifically, but it also relates to life generally. (I live in Ontario so go with me on this one!—and keep in mind that God is obviously much more wise and merciful than a hockey coach). But here’s what I mean.
Always assume a posture of humility, not expecting to be first or to go first. Be humble or be humiliated.
God will exalt you in due time at the end of time.
Be prepared, yes. Try your best, yes. And keep focused on the role God wants you to play, not the role he doesn’t.
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
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–Bible quotes are from the NIV.