Arrogance, plain and simple

You’re invited to read Marilyn’s very transparent and revealing post to encourage your heart.

Woman walking cross country and trail in autumn forestBy Marilyn Harrell

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.     1 Samuel 2:3 (KJV)

Mondays are not usually good days for me.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck! Today was no different. I was hoping to take it easy after fixing our usual “Monday lunch”….beans, rice and cornbread. Then I remembered that the dog needed to be fed. Clothes needed to be washed and dried. And I didn’t need to forget…again… to read my Bible either! I planned to eat an early lunch with my husband and then be ready to walk out the door at twelve sharp so I could carry a friend to her yearly visit to the eye doctor at one o’clock. Whew!

At twelve noon I walked out the door.  Right on time. When we arrived at the doctor’s office, I went in to make sure everything was on schedule before leaving to run some errands of my own.  As I sat in a padded, blue chair in the waiting room, I saw a young couple with a beautiful black haired little girl come in.  She looked to be in first or second grade and sounded very intelligent. I overheard her say to her mother, “Are you sure this is a children’s clinic, too?  It looks like it is just an adult clinic.”   I smiled because she sounded so grown up and serious. In a few minutes my friend was signed in and I left to do my errands.

After an hour’s shopping, I was ready to go back and see if my friend was done.  I went in the waiting room but she was not there. After looking through stacks of magazines, I found one I thought I would enjoy and sat down to read.  I did not have time to open the magazine before the daddy of the little black haired girl that I previously mentioned opened the door, walked in and promptly plopped himself down in the chair right beside me!  Now, you need to know that I like my space.  Before choosing the chair I was sitting in, I had carefully sized up the other occupants of the room and distanced myself properly from them.   I never, but NEVER sit directly adjacent to a stranger in a waiting room unless there is absolutely no other place to sit!  So needless to say, I was a little taken aback when he breezed in, sat down next to me, smiled and then said, “I must have been following you!  I left not long after you did and here I have gotten back just after you did!”  It took me just a minute to follow his line of reasoning.  My first thought was that I should smile, nod and then casually get up, choose another magazine ….and another seat!  Arrogance…..plain and simple.  That’s what my attitude was.

Thankfully I overcame that feeling and although I did smile, I didn’t get up and move to another seat.  Instead I asked him how old his little girl was, if she was getting ready to go back to school….this and that.  Just idle conversation with a stranger.  Back and forth we talked. He mentioned his daughter went to a Christian school.  Then I mentioned we had home schooled our kids.  He said he and his wife had wanted to do that but that something happened that prevented them. He had my attention now!

A little over a year ago he suddenly began to have serious vision problems.  A CT scan and a MRI showed a large and very rare type of brain cancer.  He had to have emergency brain surgery.  His doctor told him that he would almost certainly come out of the surgery either  blind, deaf, or not able to speak…..or possibly even all three.  This man….I never did ask his name…..told the doctor that it was all right….that the Lord was going to be with him no matter what happened.   But he CAN see, he CAN hear, and he CAN speak!  All this he told me with a big ole smile on his face. Some of his words, as well as I can remember them were…”Sometimes things come on us unexpected but the Lord always works it out for our good.”    What a great testimony to the goodness of our Lord and to the faithfulness of His child.

How humbled I was by the time my friend came out and it was time to go home.  What a blessing I would have missed had I listened to my tired, haughty, arrogant spirit telling me that I didn’t want to be bothered with talking to a stranger who had actually had the nerve to sit in the very next chair to mine when there were empty chairs all over the waiting room! My Jesus knew I needed to be uplifted by hearing what He had done for this man and hearing the praises this Christian Brother was offering to Him.  I am so glad that the Lord Jesus orders our steps…..and the chairs we sit in too!


P1010895Marilyn Harrell likes writing, in general, but especially when I can write about Jesus speaking to me through ordinary, everyday things which magnify His presence in my life.  I want to live a Christ honoring life and am active in our church, work as a volunteer in a local crisis pregnancy center, lead group Bible studies, love to cook and read, and was a homeschool mom to our three children for sixteen years. My husband and I are in our retirement years now and enjoy doing many things together.  Please connect with Marilyn at her blog: Walking in Truth


20 Responses to Arrogance, plain and simple

  1. Marilyn: So many times I’m sure I’ve missed opportunities and blessings by being arrogant. I like to think I’m not like that, but the reality is….I am at times. Thank you for reminding me to “be humble!”

  2. Andrea,
    I ”like to think I’m not like that” too but so many times I fall back into ungodly ways….which I hate! But God is always faithful and leads me, even when I don’t realize I’m being led sometimes! 🙂
    God bless you!

  3. Many times I have found myself in a similar situation and felt uncomfortable…god showed me grace through conversations with strangers. Many started because of health situations…when my weakness was obvious. Thanking God today for the blessings in disguise which help to shape our faith.
    Thank you for being transparent in your writing. Many hearts will be blessed and encouraged!

  4. Marilyn,

    Your message is a clear reminder of something I am very sure of, and that is, we never know who is among us…who is sitting or standing near us. We never know what God-appointments God has pre-ordained. Thank you for your transparency in sharing your walk with Jesus and how He touched your heart and brought awareness to you in this situation and I love seeing how you both really were not strangers after all!:) Praise the Lord!

    Great message and great reminder!

    Hugs and love!

    • Lisa, I love the idea of pre-ordained God-appointments! In fact, since this incident that I wrote about happened, I have found myself more willing and ready to talk with strangers and have been blessed most all the time.

  5. We never know who God is going to place in our path. I had a recent experience–a God interruption–that was well-timed, right on time. It’s good to keep our hearts open for these divine awakenings. in fact, we should expect them! Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re so right Elaine! And often when I meet someone for the first time I think….it’s possible this person may become a meaningful part of my life! I mean, we met our ”best friends” for the first time at one time!

  6. Ah yes … the Divine appointments of life! My own haughty spirit recognized the need for “space” you so eloquently describe. I’ve had similar experiences; and always I’m humbled, blessed & struck dumb by God’s amazing ways. I’ve also wondered who’s Divine appointment I’ve been at times, for truly there are many who’ve selflessly spoken into my life on the proverbial planes, trains & automobiles of life.

    • I can identify with that. There have been many times when a stranger that I only see once leaves a lasting impression with me. I pray that I will leave a lasting ”good” impression with strangers I encounter from day to day.

  7. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! How God knows how to bring us down off our high seat at times. Sometimes I feel like I have to be snatched down! Thank for reminding us that we must be humble before the Lord. Thank you Marilyn!

  8. I wonder how many times we get caught up in our own little world and miss the opportunities to share the hope that is in us. God does have a way of bringing a humbling experience to his children.

  9. Your blogs always uplift me. I have been down in the blues for a few days but reading your blog has helped. God is so good to us and here I am just feeling down. Should be rejoicing that He could love someone like me. I am thankful for His love but need to show it more. thanks again.

  10. This strangers “unexpected” intrusion into your “space” brought uplifting encouragement right from God’s heart to yours. I love it when that happens!

  11. Wow!, Just wow! This post spoke to me today Marilyn… Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be keeping my eyes and ears open for those God ordained appointments.

    • Bernadine, your “Wow!” was a great encouragement to me today!! I am so glad that you got a blessing. That’s why I write….just to share what God does in my life in hopes that it will be a blessing to others also. And I try to watch more closely nowadays for anyone that God wants to bring into my life. God bless you.

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