Humility seems to be an absent attribute these days. It’s certainly not a popular one. We could blame politicians, celebrities, and others who live in the public eye, but they only model a behavior that is all too pervasive in our culture. Unfailing allegiance to our own rightness, unwillingness to admit our foibles . . . these characteristics are more common than not. Indeed, “I was wrong” may be our least spoken sentence.
Our arrogance keeps us from knowing the peace that the psalmist describes. Our souls are not calm and quiet. They are anxious and worried. We are not weaned children resting in our mothers’ arms (v. 2). We are raging teenagers, always chasing the next best thing. We are consumed with achieving and accomplishing, often to the detriment of others and always to the destruction of ourselves.
Certainly, we will find other people who will celebrate our wins and hold us up as heroes to be modeled. But the loss we feel within makes the win empty and leaves our hearts unfulfilled. The only way we know to try and fill our emptiness is to chase the next success. This is an exhausting, never-ending cycle.
Hope in the LORD (v. 3), the psalmist tells us. Not “hope in ourselves,” not “hope in our own accomplishments,” not “hope in the accolades of others.” Hope in the LORD. Look to God for the next thing and leave the trophies for someone else.
When have you found yourself seeking success and praise at all cost? What was the end result?
Dear Christ, I wish there were more days when following you was all I wanted. Remind me that it’s all I need, even when everything around me says differently. Amen.