"Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way". I used to sing that song at the top of my lungs as a child, a crooked lilt to the words. And I remember my parents laughing at me when I did. But truth is, I often lived my life as if I believed it.
Then yesterday I learned a lesson in humility, thankfully in the privacy of my own head. I'd been getting bummed about my abilities as a writer and a speaker. Reading through writer's group threads and blogs by professionals in the field of publishing and speaking, I'd come to the realization that I was one of those relative "newbies" that they were all describing. After all, I have only one book to my credit and a handful of magazine articles. Sure I've attended a half dozen writing conferences and I've been "writing" since I was six. But a "professional" writer that does not make. As much as I hope it might, it doesn't. I was reading these posts to learn more about the industry and what I learned most is that I have a lot to learn. It made me depressed.
But in the moments of quiet, before I went to sleep I began to contemplate reality: I really do have a lot to learn. I am a "newbie" in many senses. And that was humbling. Yet in the midst of that humbling, my depression disappeared. I was glad to know that I don't have it all together yet. It was good to realize how much I have to learn without making a fool of myself in the process. It was freeing to start my day today knowing that my efforts now will hopefully be outdone by what I do next year as I learn more.
Being at (or near) the bottom of the heap isn't a bad thing. It's just a starting point.
Proverbs 15:33 "The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor."