Humility is my favorite virtue. My soul is drawn to littleness and invisibility for the sake of Christ’s greatness and presence. I want so much to be “a pencil in the hand of God,” as Bl. Mother Teresa said, and a simple, lovely flower doing nothing but blooming to glorify Him; to be a humbly willing instrument for Him to use easily to do His will.
Alas, humility is the virtue with which I struggle the most.
I’ve been mindlessly humming the same song over and over for days, paying no attention to its lyrics. Hum during the dishes, on the drive to and fro, playing on the floor with my kids. Busy-ness would pick up, but I kept returning to my hum as soon as things quieted and it wasn’t until my baby needed soothing that it bloomed into full song:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Humility indeed! How many of us can confess contentment in any given situation, come what may? It’s funny how once I started singing, the words sank in as exactly what I needed to hear and sing – a simultaneous gentle reminder and profession of hope in God’s will – not just in that moment of trying to calm my little one, but also in my vocation as a wife and mother. The words whatever my lot…it is well with my soul echo in my head when my anticipated “Me Time” or even prayer time go out the window because of the needs of my family. I need it in the most insignificant of occasions – “What’s for dinner, Babe?” a dirty diaper, baby food mashed on the floor and my shirt, the phone off the hook. In and of themselves, these commonplace situations which require my attention are not too much individually; but both Andrew and I often witness them in rapid-fire. Lately I feel that my patience is thin and my selfishness is abundant – I want to do what I want to do, (even if I don’t know what that is!) and I am too quick to be put off by the unexpected. Humility calls for going with the flow and for not insisting that things go one’s own way. Of course, it goes without saying that sitting on the floor and reading with my 2-year-old, having coffee with Andrew on the couch, and swimming with my infant are all easily well with my soul.
Regardless of peace, joy, stress, or sorrow, my response to God’s permissive will should always be in affirmative agreement. Submitting to His plan with humility can be challenging enough for my faint soul, but going along enthusiastically has become my new ambition. Life is sweeter when I happily go along with the wife/mama requests and deny myself in a spirit of hope in God’s plan for the moment, whatever my lot.