The older I get the less I know.
It’s really odd, because when I was in my 20s I was so profoundly wise. Or so I thought. Now that I’ve crested “the hill”, I realize how little I actually know. With age comes wisdom -for most, anyway.
Part of that wisdom is realizing what a distorted view the front side of the hill offers. Everything is filtered through our own skewed sense of self-importance. We think we know better and know more than most people around us.
Sadly, some never grow out of this.
But for those who do, cresting that hill and starting the downhill journey to retirement seems to clear out those filters until we realize how very unimportant we really are.
Pride turns to humility as we accept our own frailty.
I have always been sort of awed by Noah. When I read the story of Noah there is one thing I inevitably ponder for days: his unquestioning obedience.
God gave Noah every minute detail regarding the ark. He didn’t leave any detail at all to Noah’s discretion. And nowhere do you see Noah debating with God about the kind of wood he should use, how he should water-proof the ark, how tall or wide it should be. Noah simply took down God’s instructions and followed them explicitly.
For generations we have been taught to reject blind trust, to think for ourselves, and the value of independence. And while there are times when this advice could be valuable, without proper context, this advice can actually be quite detrimental!
What if the flood had happened in my generation and what if Noah were my peer?
What if he had chosen to not trust God blindly? What if he had relied on his own knowledge of building things and valued his independence so much that he was sure he knew better how to build the ark better than God?
How would history had been altered because of his pride?
Instead, he did trust God blindly. He chose not to think for himself, even for a minute, and he laid down every shred of independence and relied completely upon God’s wisdom to save himself and his family.
And he was rewarded! God gives grace to the humble.
Sadly, his descendents did not follow his example.
Year after year, generation after generation – Noah’s descendents grew and as they grew in number they also grew more pagan until their pride literally overtook them and led them to begin building a great tower.
God saw the strong bond of unity even further strengthened by a common language which would have most certainly enabled them to complete the task they sent to do – build a tower to the heavens as a symbol to the world of their greatness.
The depth of pride is truly unfathomable!
But the ability of God to cast down the mighty even more so.
In His unmatched resistance of Noah’s descendents in the land of Iraq, He instantly confused their tongues and each began to speak in a new language, forcing them to end their venture and proving to them self-importance is no match for the almighty power of the God of the heavens and the earth.
God resists the proud.
Are you like Noah or his descendents? Is God resisting you or giving you grace? Have worldly philosophies so filled your heart that you approach the God of the universe with the same filters you approach fallen man?
May the example of Noah’s obedience and humility lead us to a place of repentance and cleansing until we are able to hear God’s voice with absolute clarity; free from our own skewed wisdom and inflated self-importance.
May we live our lives as humble receptors of grace!!