When you are 16 and you finally get your driver’s license you’ll drive anywhere. Mom needs milk? I was gone to Western Supermarket. Running low on toothpaste? Up to the Vestavia Rexall Drug Store I’d go. I wanted to drive anywhere, including to church on Sunday.
This particular spring Sunday my daddy was already at church because he sang in the choir. So I told my mother I would drive us to church. She said we could take her car but heck no – I wanted to pull up to church in my super cool 1980 two-door silver 5-speed Honda Prelude (Yes, I know how to drive a stick shift. But that’s another story for another day).
When I cranked up my car, the gas needle was pointing where all gas needles in teenager’s cars point – to the big “E” on the left side of the gas gauge.
My mother asked if I was sure we could make it and I was like all, oh please, I can run for a couple of days on empty. Sheesh. Parents are so dumb. We are already running late so couldya just get in my car with no gas and get to church!
About halfway to Vestavia United Methodist Church my car starts making this really weird noise. I’d never heard it before – something between a hiss and a sputtering cough. How could my car be breaking down? My dad was and still is meticulous about cars – no way something was broken on my silver bullet.
And then all of a sudden my car – stops.
Yep. Genius here was officially out of gas. Congratulations, brilliant one – you played the empty gas tank odds and lost.
So you guessed it – me in my Sunday best hiked it all the way home. White heels & all – I still remember the pink dress I had on and how sweaty I was by the time I picked my mother up in her car – the one with the gas tank full of fuel.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
Sometimes I wonder if my mother didn’t let us start out knowing full well I’d be walking home in Sunday clothes to teach me a lesson. A good southern momma would do just that. Regardless, being prideful in any situation often bring disgrace of various degrees (And if you think she didn’t drive the point home by continuing on to church, her all pretty and smelling good and me not so much… you’d be wrong).
Humility. Wisdom. Now I cherish those two traits, because I am older and have realized that being right all the time just ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. It has taken a lonnngggg time to learn I’m actually wrrr – wrrroo – (sorry, having a Fonzy moment) – wwrrroonngggg every once in awhile.
Pride is from the enemy. Humility is a trait God so enjoys, because when we are humble we are teachable. So as we go out today, let’s seek the wisdom of God and of those who are older and wiser so that perhaps we will make it to our destinations without running out of gas.
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