Time For Some Humility

Everyone has good times and bad.  That sounds trite, but we all know it’s true.

My bad times have seemed pretty bad to me at the time.  Not all rosy in my childhood, not all easy in my divorce, dealing with sobriety, and the death of my child.

All difficult.  But I’ve had so many good periods in life, but most of all, just normal periods.

And those I take for granted.

I’ve been whining about my eyes.  I had cataracts removed and had Restore lenses put in so I won’t need glasses anymore. And my vision, which even with glasses hasn’t been 20/20 since forever, will be better and clearer.  Let me be specific.  The cataract surgery part is covered 100% by my insurance.  The lenses are incredibly expensive.  My husband and I discussed it at length and decided they were worth getting.  And we can afford to pay for them.

While I have been going through this, which I’m adjusting to perfectly and my eyes should be totally healed in another 4 weeks, my brother had heart surgery.  HEART SURGERY.  A little more serious, don’t you think?

But here’s the clincher.  Our church, in conjunction with four other churches in our area, runs a homeless shelter during the winter.  The women and men who are in these desperate straits are given warm meals, a place to stay indoors overnight, an opportunity to shower and to wash their clothes.

I’m a part of this shelter, am on the committee and have signed up to provide dinner a few times over the winter.

Last night was my first time.  But I had it on my calendar for next Saturday.  So they waited for me and I didn’t go.

Luckily, the women in charge always stops by to make sure everything is running smoothly.  Well, obviously it wasn’t last night because I didn’t show up.  The lady in charge texted me and I said “Hi! How are you?”  She told me they were waiting for me. Of course, I had no food ready, so they scrambled to get dinner for the shelter visitors.

I was so upset and appalled that I had the wrong date.  I am the most Attention Deficit person you will have ever met (that is not an exaggeration) and one of the skills I have learned is to check everything a few times and to write important things down.  I had checked, and I had written it down.  For the wrong date.  So hadn’t checked well, or often, enough.

Here is where the lack of humility comes in.  These people are desperate.  They could literally freeze to death.  I can’t imagine what they have gone through in their lives.  And I forgot their dinner.

People in my own small community are dying and I forgot about them.

And the biggest thing?  I have been complaining to anyone who will listen about how I’m not getting a good night’s sleep because I have had to wear a plastic shield over my eyes to protect them when I sleep.

I haven’t lost limbs in accidents or war.  I haven’t been born with a congenital problem that requires me to wear, and function with, life altering prosthetic devices.  My husband and I are gainfully employed and have many choices in housing, don’t think twice about grocery shopping or clothes.  We have the money to go on a vacation every year.  Between us we have four healthy adult children.

All I did was complain about my eye surgery and the plastic shields to protect my soon-to-be-perfect eyes.

These events and realizations have humbled me.  For now.  Until life goes back to normal and I only give a fleeting thought to those in situations different from mine.  For those about whom I should be thinking, praying and helping.

May I remember this lesson and carry it with me daily.  May I not fall easily back into complacency.

It’s time for some humility.



About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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30 Responses to Time For Some Humility

  1. So true for all of us. We complain about so much and don’t think about how greatful we should be about even the little things we have. Thanks for a great reminder to start off the week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dawnkinster says:

    Don’t beat yourself up. You’re actually on a committee and you actually make meals for the homeless in your community. You’re doing something about a problem. Getting confused once is sad, but nothing you should do more than apologize for. It was a mistake. You for sure won’t let it happen again. Humility is OK…feeling bad about yourself is not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      That’s true. And I do that…..feel bad about myself. But I also think we could all do with more humility. And you’re right (don’t you love it when people tell you that?!) I will never make that mistake again. I think what really bothered me is that most mistakes don’t carry that type of consequence. The person in charge took care of it, thank God, but I will never make that same mistake.


  3. Kalama says:

    you are making a difference…don’t ever forget that

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Thank you. But it’s easy to make a difference. I think the important thing is to make a difference when it’s hard to do so. But to forget…..I would never usually mix up something this important. I hope. Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Only folks like you who have a heart for the less fortunate and are Kingdom oriented would have responded as you have. Some one else of a worldly perspective would have come up with some lame excuse and just blown it off as an “Oh, well” situation, and gone on to Starbucks for a latte. We all have a tendency to be self-absorbed about our petty “inconveniences.” So often God uses circumstances to sharpen our focus onto the horrific plight of most other human beings on our planet, even some right in our own neighborhood. The bible tells us: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace [favor] to the humble.” (James 4:6). I bet this experience was a real “eye opener.” Pun intended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Ha! to the eye opener lol. And what a lovely comment. I hope that you are right. I try to do as God wishes me to. And I’m a firm believer in “there but for the grace of God go I.” My exact point was that it was a wake-up call when I didn’t think that I should have needed one. ” So often God uses circumstances to sharpen our focus onto the horrific plight of most other human beings on our planet, even some right in our own neighborhood.” Thank you….I think you are 100% right.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Noooo! How terrible to get the date wrong and it certainly was an honest mistake, Barb. You had every intention to honour that and as long as there was a solution to that, it’s ok. Don’t feel bad. Shit happens. And it’s all relative. There’s heightened awareness now; more than humility, it’s really about double-triple checking of dates now. Xxx.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      True, but I think we all go back to our comfortable lives (if we have such) and forget to be grateful for what we have. I mean, I always say I’m grateful for my family, and I am. But I didn’t think, in my very true example, that while I was feeling sorry for myself because I was sore and had trouble sleeping, that there are so many who deal with much more than that every day of their lives. That was my point. I hope to keep gratitude a little more in the forefront of my mind. Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paul says:

    Don’t worry about it too much. It was an honest mistake and I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it up to them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How would we know the grace and beauty of being humble without the stuff ups that carry us there?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These “wake-up calls” suck don’t they? Realizing that we’re not navigating the storm as well as we thought we were is jarring, especially when our off-course steering affects others.

    Not surprised at all that your reaction was to recognize and adjust your course.

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sheila Moss says:

    Thanks for putting things in perspective. If it won’t matter in a week or a month, it isn’t really a big thing. Still, if you don’t worry about your own eyes, who will? It is small relative to big social problems, but it matters to you.


  10. Yeah, I agree…this is a great reminder that we have it so good compared to so many others. Thanks for writing this. ❤
    Oh! and thank you for following my blog! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bea dM says:

    Just a mistake. Don’t beat yourself up about it too much. You probably won’t do it again. All in all a good opportunity to reconnect strongly to … gratitude, and take it from there. What a great way to volunteer and donate your precious time!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Almost Iowa says:

    Life never kicks so hard as when we do it ourselves. Every once in a while the memory of some old Faux Pas of mine will ambush me but it’s just one of those things.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann Coleman says:

    It seems as if it always takes something big to make us put our own problems into perspective, doesn’t it? But don’t be too hard on yourself, we all forget things, it just hits harder when we forget something important. Thanks for sharing this…it’s a good reminder for everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. gixeblog says:

    Reblogged this on gixeblog and commented:
    Its time for some humility. Stops complaining and move on thinking others life might be worst than yours. And yet, they are more grateful than you are.

    Liked by 1 person

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