Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by June E Titus, who is a veteran Diva and great friend. Thank you June for joining Spiritual Summer Sundays!
The “I” in the Middle
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16: 18
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11: 12
The big joke of the term “pride” is the “I” in the middle. When I am in the middle of all my aspirations and efforts, the best expectations are for a fall, or worse, disgrace. First hand experiences are the best way to describe this.
While I was sickly in my early life, later adulthood has been good to me. Possibly, the work I had needed to do on our little farm in the mountains gave me strength to overcome earlier disabilities. Fast forward to my eighties, I loved to learn, I loved to walk, and I loved life. Why not? I was healthy.
I decided to go back to college to finish my undergraduate degree. That is all well and good, but to brag about my achievements? That is not the humility God expects from one of His children. In spending all my time in this personal pursuit of a degree that would not truly prepare me for anything but the satisfaction of having it, prIde had entered the picture.
For the previous several years our town’s 5K walk was a highlight for my spring activity. At age 84 my time was fifty-two minutes, far better than anyone else in my age category. I had actually beat my previous times from past years. I bragged. I rubbed it in. My mantras were “Age is just a number” or “You are only as old as you feel.” That may be true, but were I to look into the mirror, I would not see a picture I liked. I would see prIde.
A Literal Fall:
One beautiful day in October, my car needed a good washing. I dropped the car off at the car wash and went for my usual two-mile walk. I got to the place where I assumed it was one mile, looked at my cellphone to see how far I had come and my time, and boom! I tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk. Crash, directly on my chin. I attempted to break the fall with my right arm. Results: broken jaw and right elbow. I remember saying aloud, although no one was about to hear me, “My goose is cooked!”
Maybe no one else was about, but God was there. He gave me strength to edge myself to the curb and stand up. I was bleeding from my mouth and chin, I couldn’t use my right arm, but what to do? Stubborn lady I am, I refused to call 911, let alone my husband. I started walking back the mile to the carwash. The only people I saw on my mile walk were three men standing around a truck bed solving the world’s problems. To give them credit, they did ask if they could help. I said, “No, I’m almost to my car.” prIde.
I picked up the car and went home. My husband met me with horror, shuttled me off to the ER, and I got home eight hours later with my prIde smashed, my college career indefinitely suspended, and my bragging rights gone. Thank you, Lord!
Now I have time to look around to see the world about me and the life God has for me in trusting Him. I returned to Bible study, have developed a renewed passion for my Lord and Savior, and I see the fall as an opportunity to serve Him better.
Disgrace? Perhaps. It was disgraceful to brag about the strength God gave me by making it all about me. It was disgraceful to divorce my academic achievements from God’s will for my life. I fell. He lifted me up, and I am striving for wisdom in Him.
June E. Titus, a retired nurse, novelist, and poet lives with her husband, Ed, in southern Georgia. Now, a grandmother in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. She posts a monthly blog on her website, by e-mail subscription, and on Facebook, entitled “This Came to Mind …” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “All About Women,” a monthly magazine, both in Boone, North Carolina. She has self-published Banjo Man, 2020; Harry Carlin’s Coattails. 2021, and Davey’s Hat, 2022. As well, she has three books of poetry print on demand. June plays a little bit of clawhammer banjo, and loves to listen to old time music, ballads, and hymns. June belongs to local book clubs, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and Sigma Tau Delta, English honor society. Website: https://jetituswriter.com