Tag Archives: Humility

Needing to Be Right

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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here. Needing to be right can sometimes be oh-so-wrong. I learned that more than 50 years ago while on a canoe trip down Sugar Creek in north-central Indiana with some of my high school friends.  It was a beautiful spring day.  The river was alive with insects, birds…and snakes. Every now and then we… Read more »

A Refresher Course in Humility

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Every now and then it’s helpful to experience what it’s like for the shoe to be on the other foot – and for that matter, the socks as well. About a decade and a half ago I was walking our two exuberant Australian Shepherds on a local trail.  When a jogger approached us from the other direction, with her well-behaved dog… Read more »

Washed by Grace

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For the four weeks leading up to and going beyond Easter, we’re looking at the life of Peter.  Because he’s so often at the center of both the brightest and darkest moments in the Gospels, he has always been a source of hope and inspiration for those endeavoring to follow Jesus. In Bible times, the foot was literally and symbolically the… Read more »

Humility, Please

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In September 1519, Ferdinand Magellan left Spain on a quest to find an oceanic trade route to Asia. Magellan didn’t sail east.  Others had already pioneered that route around the southern tip of Africa and through the Indian Ocean.  Instead, he sailed west across the Atlantic.  Would it be possible to connect Europe with China, Japan, and the East Indies by… Read more »

Farewell to the Big Me

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According to Greek mythology, Narcissus was a spectacularly handsome young man. Every female in his zip code yearned for his affection.  He could have cared less.  In the words of author Eugene Peterson, “Narcissus had no time for them.  He was all the company he needed.  He could not waste time on anyone.  He required his full attention.” The beautiful… Read more »

Confession Booth

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Reed College in Oregon is widely regarded as one of America’s most socially progressive campuses. Its annual springtime student festival, Renn Fayre, is, to put it mildly, faith-averse.  The campus is shut down for three days so the students can come together and do some serious partying in the spirit of revisiting Renaissance England.  Participants are far more likely to… Read more »

Deep Humility

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A newly promoted military officer was ecstatic to discover that he had just merited his first private office. On his first day on the job, he sat down in his chair and surveyed his desk, his bookshelves, and his very own telephone.  A moment later, as he looked out his window, he noticed a private heading his direction.  As the… Read more »

Be Considerate

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Conrad Hilton, founder of the hotel empire that bears his name, was once Johnny Carson’s guest on The Tonight Show. At one point Carson said, “If you could look into that camera and say just one thing to America, what would it be?” Hilton turned and looked into the camera.  He said, “Please remember to put the shower curtain on… Read more »

The Smartest Person in the Room

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Linus Pauling was always the smartest person in the room.  These days we hear the word “genius” associated with people who excel at making omelets, organizing birthday parties, and playing fantasy football.  Pauling, who was born in 1901, was an old school genius – a brilliant scientist with unrivalled powers of deduction and imagination.  His 1931 paper, The Nature of… Read more »

Early Warnings

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On two occasions more than 40 years ago, the whole world almost had a very bad day. At mid-morning on November 9, 1979, watch officers at the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) inside Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, were shocked to see their early warning screens glowing with the unmistakable images of 1,400 Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles streaking toward the United… Read more »