“Those who humble themselves…will grab a shovel.”
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20; Matthew 23:1-12
Conversion is about change, and the most direct way that it is reflected is in my behavior. In Isaiah’s words, I “cease doing evil” and “learn to do good.” I don’t seek out places of honor or rely on titles, my status or the various forms of privilege that I am given in the Church or wider community.
Humility is learned. Like any other virtue, it must be nurtured. The most obvious way that I learn humility is through my failures, large and small; but it also grows as I develop and practice gratitude for success and good fortune. Travel and experiencing other cultures in all of their richness and complexity can also help to nurture humility.
The weather can teach me humility, too. A snowstorm like the one we’ve had in Chicago can be a humbling experience. It reminds me that there are many areas of my life in which I have very little, if any, control. I can either rage against them as an assault on my faux omnipotence or I can adapt to “life on life’s terms.” It’s smarter to adapt…and grab a shovel! –JC