“There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
In our school district, the kids get a week-long break in February knowns as “Ski Week.” We don’t ski, so for us it’s a blissful week without alarm clocks and lunch boxes and homework. I’m much more okay with this than snow and ice and fast approaching trees.
But I still look forward to any break with the kids, mostly because I miss them a lot when they’re not at home. I make plans, the center of which is our annual two-day trip to Disneyland. Except this year, B’s work schedule narrowed it to one day, and then an unexpected fever for the boy stole it completely. We returned home and I settled in for a very different vacation than I’d expected. And yes, I was bummed. Really bummed. Like on my knees in tears bummed.
God drew me to my bible study, where I read a really insightful quote from author Jen Hatmaker on the function of humility: “Humility is looking toward heaven through tears, through bone weariness, and thanking Him for the freedom that’s coming… Humility identifies every goodness God was able to work in spite of captivity, maybe because of it” (Tune In, pg. 134). It sounded like what I was feeling, but humility? What did this have to do with humility?
Except that I’m often making plans, sticking to plans, loathing changes to plans, and at the heart of the issue, I’m wanting my plans more than God’s. I want our trip to Disneyland. I don’t want to admit that there might be something better. And hence my problem with humility.
So I got on my knees, surrendered my pride and took up a cloak of humility, and then set to finding the goodness of our “captivity.” We played Upwords and Life and War. We discovered the music channels and danced. The kids took bubble baths in the middle of the afternoon and spent all day in their pajamas. All day. Canceled playdates led to a tent becoming a rocket ship and soda/mentos fountains and a post-dentist lunch made of ice cream. I am deliberately thankful for each of these things, because I know God asked me to trade them for a reason.
There is a way that seems right to us, but that’s only because we see about three inches ahead. Sometimes God calls us into the woods, in a direction away from the sunlight or the flowers or whatever it is that we see in those three inches, and we need to follow Him, because He can see the big picture (which could mean, for example, a sheer cliff on the other side of those flowers). Not only that, but we need to follow with humility, because blinded by pride fail to see the goodness He has waiting for us. There is always goodness, whether we choose to see it or not.