Read: Mark 7:14-23
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 16:18 KJV
I’m not quite sure how I managed such a feat of idiocy (much less such a painful one), but I did. I had been assigned to the check stands and was informed that I would be spending the rest of my day there. Though this was not one of my favorite tasks, I was managing to pull it off without a great deal of strain. In fact, I was even growing proud of myself, since I had mastered bagging, checking, talking on the phone, chatting with customers, and making calls on the radio all at the same time.
We only had one other checker with such phenomenal multi-tasking skills and she was considered quite a wonder. Astonished to find myself in the same league, I began to entertain thoughts of myself as “Super Checker” – faster than a speeding bullet – and the pace of my multi-tasking quickly picked up.
It was then that God decided to make a point. I slammed the cash drawer shut with a flourish… forgetting to remove my finger beforehand. (An obvious oversight on my part.) Doing my best to hide my agony, I uttered only a few loud exclamations of “Ow!” and “Garbage!”, then continued to ring out the next customer in line.
By the time I had finished, my finger had begun to turn a nice shade of black and, roping off my check stand, I headed to the break room for an ice pack. Unfortunately, the only ice on hand was being used to refrigerate pet medication and, since I couldn’t keep my hand in the freezer and check at the same time, I was out of luck.
My finger was throbbing by this point, so I decided that at least I’d find myself some pain pills… and, to my dismay, discovered that we didn’t keep pain medication in our first aid kits. Our sporting goods clerk felt rather sorry for me and generously kept volunteering to help me relieve the pain, but since all of his solutions consisted of a combination of a multi-tool and field expedient surgery, I declined. Reluctantly grabbing one of the giant ice packs from the vet fridge, I quickly applied it to my injured appendage.
Little did I know that I was going through all of this for the sole purpose of learning yet another skill: how to check left handed! I spent the next hour in attempting to explain to some rather amused customers that the odd growth on my hand (the “well-concealed” ice pack) was not fatal, but the result of a lack of foresight on my part.
Though the situation was rather painful and uncomfortable, it was, in the end, a rather harmless way for God to remind me of the truth that “Pride goeth before destruction,” in this case the destruction of my finger.
Challenge: There is nothing wrong with confidence… but when our confidence is in our skills and abilities rather than the God who gave them, it becomes pride. Take a moment to make a list of the things you’re best at. Ask yourself whether you’ve taken time to acknowledge each talent as a gift from God. If you haven’t, spend a moment in prayer doing just that!