Yesterday I wrote about the first sentence of the prayer that hangs on the bulletin board above my desk. Today I will look at the second.
Give me the strength that waits upon You in silence and peace. Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens. Possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love. Occupy my whole life with the one thought and the one desire of love, that I may love not for the sake of merit, not for the sake of perfection, not for the sake of virtue, not for the sake of sanctity, but for You alone.
Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens.
When you’ve used your strength in the waiting you need rest and not more burdens. As I wait I feel the burden of pride trying to settle on my shoulders and it is indeed heavy.
What do others think about my wait? Do they think I should have settled this by now? If my wait goes on, will they think there is something wrong me? If I quit hoping, looking… and waiting, who would know? I could simply declare the wait over, give up and settle into apathy. I could pretend that everything was great and look normal again with a belly no longer swollen with deferred hope.
It is the voice of pride that calls me to pretend and hide. It is the voice that wants me to make something of myself and ridicules me when I fail. And, it is a voice that never stops. Today it taunts me with the waiting but listening is like feeding radiation to a MUTO. Arguing with it is no different and the more I try the heavier the burden grows.
Humility is the only Godzilla capable of conquering the monster of pride. Humility looks nothing like the self-condemning dribble that is simply the other side of the pride coin. As C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” To spend less time thinking about how I look to others and what they are thinking of me is restful.
In fact, rest itself is an act of humility. To lay down and to sleep is accept the limitations of all humans and to recognize that I depend on others and on God. It is to admit that I play no role at all in the rotation of the earth and that in the end my time on this stage is short.
But again, humility is a gift that I ask for and not a quality that I develop. So, I ask and I wait.