I was flipping through a book the other day, Questions that Jesus Asked. One of the chapters was on humility. It caught my attention and I began to read what it was saying.
Humility is the natural and inevitable result of facing facts about ourselves. It has been suggested that . . . humility is based upon the truth . . . When we see ourselves in the light of what we might be, humility is the natural result.
It suddenly struck me why I am so drawn to nature, why I have a compulsion to get out in it, whether it’s on the open ocean or in the mountains or in a forest. When we come face to face with the natural world, with the awesome wonder of it, I think most of us can only be humbled by it. And in that humility, we must face ourselves. We must face the truth of it all, that we are nothing and everything all at once. That there are things that are much greater than us, and still not even a fraction of how great we could be.
To be in nature, I can be nothing but humble and humbled. I find a peace in that humility.
From star-filled nights to mountaintop views to stunning rolling waves in open ocean vistas to tiny water bugs that flit about in a puddle in a large waterless field to watching a spider dart to life when a mosquito lands in its web, I’m mesmerized by it all.
I’ve read story upon story of hikers completing super long hikes of thousands and thousands of miles. Or sailors completing solo circumnavigations. They are all forever changed by their experience. But, they usually can’t express the change in so many words. It’s just something they know.
I’m beginning to suspect that the experience humbled them. But, it’s a humbleness that can’t be described.
Please do not think I am trying to break a record. Record is a very stupid word at sea. I am continuing nonstop because I am happy at sea, and perhaps because I want to save my soul.
How often we, as humans, set about in nature with a thought of conquering her. But to head out with a thought of victory over the world in which we live is not to be humble before her and we have no option but to lose, because in the end we simply forever lose ourselves to never find them again.
If, however, we go into nature humble, we will also lose ourselves, but to forever find them true again.
Jesus went to the wilderness to pray, meditate, and be alone. I believe he went there in and with humility. A much needed lesson we all need to learn. I wish they taught more of that in churches, but alas, there are more important worldly lectures to be given.
I can only imagine what a world in which humanity is truly humble would look like. For some reason I have a thought that there would be far fewer of us.
And that humbles me as well.