He was in his late 70’s when I first met him. It was a Wendy’s in central Pennsylvania where the meeting took place. I was interviewing for a job and he was an elderly gentleman who had lots of history with the church. He knew the people, the culture, and had an uncanny ability to read people almost instantly. Of course, I didn’t know all this when we first sat down. He came across like a grandfather figure who just happened to be hanging out with the pastor that day. That was the beauty of who he was.
After we ordered our meals and sat down, the true colors of this man began to show through. We enjoyed polite conversation over towering bacon cheeseburgers, then he looked up at me, smirked and taught me a lesson I’ll never forget. “Hey, do you want to know a secret?”, he asked with a boyish grin on his face. My reply was one of intrigue. “Do you know the best way to eat the french fries here”? Caught off guard by the question, I am sure my reply was one of a blank stare, but that didn’t phase him. “You get 2-3 together, grab your frosty, dip and enjoy”! Not about to disappoint this man, I followed directions, and when I looked up he was grinning from ear to ear like he had just unlocked the secret to life for a younger man.
Long story short, I spent just over a year of my life with that man. Not a long time in the scheme of things, but an eternity of lessons learned. One of the greatest lessons I learned from him had nothing to do with any didactic teaching he expounded to me. The most valuable education I received from him was through his example. And it can be summed up in one word: humility. It is still a lesson I am learning each and every day, but Tim Challies’ article, “10 Sure Marks of Humility“, gives some great tell tale signs of something I saw in that elder gentlemen 10 years ago.
I still dip my fries in my frosty, and every time I do, I’m reminded about the humility of a 70 year old man who didn’t take himself too serious and helped a young ambitious man do the same. How about you? Have you had a great example of humility in your life? How did you observe this great great in another? Why do we find it so difficult to be humble? I’d love to hear your story of a humble example. Maybe it’s an older person, or a younger person, or simply one random act you observed by another that reminded you not to take yourself too serious.
As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!
Until Next Time…