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Pride is insidious

Our struggle with pride often happens in the ‘small’ moments of life.  We don’t even see it coming, and then it surfaces to work to convince us how ‘good’ it feels to detour-sign-k-6718be right.

A ‘small’ moment like this one. I arrived in Melbourne last Saturday night around 23h00. I made my way quickly to the rental car place and in a matter of minutes was on my way.  “I’m doing really well.  I’ll get to Mitcham quickly,” I thought.  I got out on the freeway heading into the City and not more than two kilometers down the road, there were signs indicating that the freeway was closed.  “Now what I am going to do?” was my first thought. I decided to follow the detour signs placed ahead.

After more than twenty minutes of following those detour signs, I arrived back at the very place where I started following the signs!  That’s when I said to myself, “I’m never going to make it to Mitcham (where I was staying)!

So, here it was, 0h30 in the morning, most shops closed, and I wasn’t really sure in what direction was the City. I saw a 7-11 store open.  I pulled in and asked the young man at the counter how to get to the City.  He simply replied, “Just keep following that road.”  Now, I’m convinced this is the first response of many people in many countries at that time of the morning. “Just keep following that road.”

On the way out of the store, I saw an older couple getting out of their car, and I apporached them asked if they could help me.  The man looked right at me and said, “Where are you from?”  No words of help or advice, just ‘where are you from?’  When I told him that was a ‘hard’ question to answer, he laughed and said, “No problem, how can I help you?”  He proceeded to give me very explicit instructions to get the City and thanks to him I was able to get to where I needed to go.

I count at least three strikes of pride in that little event.  There was the ‘timing’ issue.  My efforts had led me to get out of baggage and customs and on my way in good time. I was happy with what I had done.  There was the ‘I’m going to figure this problem out myself’ issue.  Once the detour came up, I figured my sense of direction would get me where I needed to go.  I was confidant in myself.  There was the ‘accent’ issue.  The question of the man at the 7-11 store took me by surprise.  Why couldn’t he just accept me, instead of commenting on my American accent?

All little things you might say, but they all quickly add up to a focus on ME.  Pride is insidious.  Reflecting back on an event, even one seemingly ‘small’ in our minds, can help us to ferret out the work of pride which seeks to damage our heart and soul on a daily basis; and which seeks to keep us from our God.

4 Responses

  1. Hi DVid, great thoughts for me today, sitting in a hospital bed for 10 weeks now all the little things become huge. I nrrdto check my attitude daily.


  2. The travel context is a good one to consider how pride shows up -also their is our pride in our expectations. I have often thought about times I have done things the first time – first time traveling overseas; first time learning a language; first time speaking to a group – I didn’t really have expectations (being my first time) so I was generally more patient, more aware of others, more attentive to God in the moments, etc. Maybe more anxious; but certainly less prideful.

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