Friday, September 24, 2010

The most difficult thing in the world

This last week I walked out of church from Bible Study to find the parking lot full of junior boys with long hair and low bikes trying to land tricks. I certainly saw this as a good time to be entertained because there was a high likelihood of someone making a fool of themselves. After I had given them a hard time for not going fast enough to pull off their dangerous tricks, I decided that it was time for me to hop on one of their bikes and demonstrate to them how it is done. My plan was to pop the front wheel up and spin the handle bars 360 degrees before I landed. What actually happened was I popped a wheelie spun the bars a whole 45 degrees and landed on the bike bar instead of seat. Apparently the trick was more difficult than I thought (and much more dangerous). It has been said that hitting a baseball is the most difficult thing to do in sports, however, I think hitting the 900 as seen here on a skateboard seems much more difficult.

So I was wondering “What is the most difficult task one can ever do?”

It is not an easy question. We are a very prideful people, and I myself am very proud, and therefore, there are very few challenges I would not try if given the chance. It is even amazing that anyone would ever think of the possibility of going to the moon, land a 900, or race at 300 mph. All this is done because our pride pushes us to be the best. This had me thinking that perhaps the most difficult thing to ever do is not the one that involves the most skill level, but one that is very rarely attempted at all.

So, what is so difficult, so daunting, so dangerous, that few if any ever attempt to accomplish?

The answer is not setting a new record, but forfeiting our pride. Letting go of our pride has to be the most difficult, least tried, and greatest accomplishment one can achieve. To prove it’s difficulty I will challenge you to do two things:

1. Do something really kind and really generous for someone and do it anonymously. I am not talking about holding a door open for someone. I am talking about giving someone who needs it, $100 kind of act. Do something very gracious and tell no one. Do not let the person you are helping know it is you, don’t tell your neighbor you did it, your friend, your parents, or even your spouse. Tell no one; take this kind deed with you to the grave. Do this and do it on a somewhat regular basis and you are accomplishing the most difficult task there is to accomplish, you are forfeiting your pride. (This was inspired by my seminary professor Dr. Gary Sattler).

2. Forgive someone who has wronged you. Do not wait for an apology, do not wait for punishment, but simply forgive someone you has hurt you and allow them back into your life without any grudge or conditions.

If you can do these two things, than you will have accomplished something truly great because you have done something that not only takes a lot of heart and strength, but you have done something that far too few have ever tried to undertake. Of course defeating your pride cannot be done alone, if you thought you could you gave way to pride once again.

To completely abolish our pride we must have help from the king who was strong enough to humble himself to a cross, Jesus Christ (Philippians 2).

If he could only see how small a vacancy his death would leave, the proud man would think less of the place he occupies in his lifetime. - Ernest Wilfrid LeGouve

The sun will set without thy assistance. - The Talmud

Pride is the mask of one's own faults. - Jewish proverb

Pride ruined the angels. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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