My youngest nephew started Kindergarten last week, at the same elementary his older brother went to until this year. The older one started middle school last week as well. It was quite a different experience for them both. The older one is the one forging a new trail of unknowns and expectations, of nerves and excitement. The younger one, well he’s been there before. He’s gone to the school for pickup, for parties, for meetings and the like. He mosied on down the hallway like he owned the joint, as my sister tells me, full of confidence.
The start of a semester and a new academic year remind me of that…as I see newness and nerves on the first year students while the upperclassmen carry the swagger of “been here, done that, got the t-shirt.” Often I tend to carry myself that same way into situations or experiences, where I don’t check my ego and allow it to run the situation instead of humbling myself. While confidence in yourself is not a bad thing, I think we become deceived by it. Allowing it to drive our motives and turn into selfishness and the inability to serve in humility.
Today is a good day to remind ourselves that we don’t have it all figured out. While we may have been here before, we don’t have to approach it the same way, with the same ego. Being in this same situation again allows us to gain a new perspective on the position, the university, the situation or the person. Look afresh at the opportunities around you to see where you can respond differently, where you can step back and allow others to lead, and most importantly, where you can allow God to shine through you.
After all, we are small in comparison to this great big world. In our smallness we can exact big change, big ideas and big goals with big hearts. However when we carry big intentions and big egos, we find much ado about nothing comes of it.
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”- 1 Peter 5:5,6 (NKJV)