I like to believe I would eagerly jump in front of a bullet for my wife, my family or even a dear friend. And I think it’s safe to say you would, too. Why? Because such a noble sacrifice is an incredible display of love.
But you know what’s far harder than such a grand gesture as that? Serving that same person each and every day through seemingly small gestures.
On paper it’s quite simple: humility is easy to practice in the hype of life, but far harder to live out in the humdrum of life.
So how do we live out such humility? It boils down to two words: daily and deliberately. It's in moments of mediocrity that a reality begins to reveal itself: transformative humility is comprised of little acts of service over a long period of time.
And who better illustrates such humility than Jesus?
“As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” [John 21:7-9]
I love how casually snuck in that last sentence is, “…they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.”
This is the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. And what does he do? He humbly cooks them breakfast. It’s so simple and so small, but oh so powerful. Here is the King of kings taking the time and energy to serve others in selfless love in a seemingly insignificant way. That’s a beautiful display of humility.
Caleb Faires sums it up like this: “places of prominence are never for us. We are raised only that we may bow and serve. And service is seldom made of grand and recognizable gestures.”
As much as we’d like, we can’t Rocky montage our way to humility. We have to be deliberate with each moment, each action and each day. No silver bullet, no shortcut and no awe-inspiring highlight reel with killer music.
However, let me encourage you with this: the long game is the hard game. Wait, what? I know, on the surface that feels like an oxymoron and the furthest thing away from encouragement, but here’s the truth: the hard game always ends in reward. When you walk in small, obedient steps of humility day in and day out, you receive a front row seat to watch God bless your sacrifice of selfless service.
Such a walk is a lifelong marathon. That means years of steadfast perseverance, seasons of rare recognition and nights of unbearable frustration. I don’t say that to discourage you, I say that to ready you. You have the destination in sight, you know the road map before you and understand the roadblocks ahead of you. So run with purpose.
All this to say: please, don’t lose hope when you feel like you’re stuck doing trivial, unrecognized tasks: packing lunches, tackling routine chores, continually reaching out to a distant friend, because selfless service, however small, is always significant.
- Jared Iler // Creative Director at Humbled Daily, Wyoming native and lover of any workout that includes squats and muscle-ups!