Humility, however deep it be, neither disquiets nor troubles nor disturbs the soul; it is accompanied by peace, joy and tranquility. St Teresa of Avila, Way of Perfection.
Ok, so I had a couple of people wanting to follow me on this project I set myself of wanting to spend the month reflecting on and practicing humility, and so here’s a little challenge for us today:
Aspect of humility
Living in right relationship with God and others
What am I reflecting on
Submitting to authority. How does it help me to grow, and when is it better to resist or disobey authority? Discerning what or whom is a legitimate authority. How does God reveal his authority to me?
What I am doing
As I’m driving around today I’ll be trying to perfectly obey the road rules, and use all the best-practice driving knowledge I have.
If you would like to do this with me, go ahead. Hopefully it will be a fruitful exercise in incorporating prayer into a daily routine. This evening I’ll try to update this post with anything of note that happened, any thoughts or reflections.
Feel free to add yours in the comments, or if you have your own blog, to write up your own post and link back here so we can go and read it.
Have a lovely day, God go with you!
Ok, so it’s now after dinner at our place and my husband has taken over the kids’ bath time duties so I can jump on here.
How did you go with your perfect driving? I only had the school drop-offs and a speech therapist appointment on, all 10 mins from home, so didn’t have to do much. While I’m usually a conscientious driver I still found it impossible to focus on sticking precisely at all times to the speed limit around our neighbourhood, which has lots of hills, and also things like keeping the three-second rule of distance from the vehicle in front. I quickly allowed myself to keep more to the spirit rather than the exact letter of the law with these things.
What is most important is having the intention of being obedient – and keeping that intention to the forefront of my mind also kept the whole point of today’s experiment in mind.
And what was that?
To exercise humility by:
- Being faithful to a way of doing things that someone with authority over me has established.
- By being mindful that what I do and how I do it is not all just about me (in fact is hardly ever just about me!). I belong not just to myself but to a community of people, and ultimately to God.
- Remembering that in being faithful in my responsibilities, big and small, I am being faithful to God who has placed me in this time and place, and given me certain roles and limits.
Obviously on the road as in other areas of life we need to be able to discern sometimes whether we have to obey certain things we are expected to obey, or obey a thing in every instance. But this is where humility is so valuable. If we’re humble enough to submit to an authority just because it is an authority over us, and not just because it happens to align with what we want for ourselves, we’re more likely to resort to making an exception or exercising our right to conscientious objection when we need to truly authentically, not out of pride and self-deception.
And we’re more likely to be aware of our relationship to God, while being less likely to make ourselves gods. Of course while God’s authority is mirrored in a small but real way in earthly authority, only the authority of parents over their children comes close to what God’s authority is like as it issues from love.
The other thing about today was as I was driving around, I was more focussed on what I was actually doing, ie. driving! And as I was making it a spiritual exercise I felt more aware of God’s presence. Driving in the presence of God – sounds like a great title for a book doesn’t it?
What about you? Did you try it? Any thoughts? Comments?