Today's theme at Mass was Humility - take the lowest place at the table rather than pridefully going to the head of the table, only to be humiliated when the host asks you to move to a lower one. Of course we all know that one - nothing new here. But then as Father Tom began to explain humility in more depth, it hit me! Trying to look better than I am - no, even trying to be perfect in the estimations of others. Oh, my - there I was, caught like a deer in the headlights! I have always disliked entertaining because I felt my house was not perfect enough. This countertop is scratched, that wallpaper needs replacing, I won't have time to do enough housecleaning before my guests come, the list goes on and on! Yet - I go to other people's homes and sometimes theirs are not perfect either. That doesn't seem to phase my obsession. But where does this big concern come from? I always justified it as being an "insecurity complex," but now I see that it was in fact - False Pride! A lack of humility!
I am a retired teacher of the Visually Handicapped, an area of Special Education. Teachers in this field are required to write an Educational Plan for each student annually, specifying the goals and objectives the student will be taught and and expected to master during the school year. I think our Heavenly Father is like that, too, thank goodness! We used to say, in the Charismatic Renewal, that God is a mansion-builder, and He isn't finished with me yet! Or, another image that I like is that I am like an onion, and God peels off one layer at a time. If He ever showed us all our imperfections at one time, I fear it would be a devastating event!
How thankful I am, though, to know that I don't need to be "crippled" by this fear of people coming to my house! Instead, I should be humble and thankful for the Lord's goodness to me in giving me a nice home to live in, a place where I can welcome God's children with His very own love and care! I am not a perfect housekeeper, my home will never grace the pages of a home design magazine, but that is not what is important. Sharing His love - that is what He calls us to do with the gifts that He gives us. So that is what I will try to do, with His grace and help!