"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."Proverbs 16:18
I took speech class when I was a junior in high school, and one of my classmates was tasked to write the story. He gave me a role that had my character eating all the time, which was not cool with me as I was on the husky side. I told him I would not do it, so he had to rewrite the role I would play. I was recasted as someone who loved women. We went to a Christian school, so there was only mild flirtation with the girls in our class. I was terrible in the movie, and I knew I would not go far in the acting business. There were some in our class who thought they were big stuff as they showed the movie to the whole school one morning. I did not say much when I was called to the front, but I only made some brief comments and sat back down. It was painful to be confronted my subpar acting skills, and I was somewhat relieved that the movie was over and done with.
I thought this would be the end of my career in front of the camera, but I was recently granted an opportunity to do a promotional video for my alma mater. If you know me, then you know I love Arizona State University, even though I do not agree with where they stand politically, as they align with most major universities. I have followed their sports teams since I was a young boy, and it has always been my dream school. I know many aspire to go to Harvard or Yale, but my expectations were much different, and I always wanted to go to Arizona State University. I was thrilled and flattered to be interviewed, but I was in for a big surprise as the day came for the interview.
I expected a small group of people to come over to the house, but there were 25 or more people who descended on our home. There were camera operators, lighting guys, and even a caterer. I tried to indulge in some snacks, but Rebekah told me we had snacks in the pantry. I was taken to a mobile home parked on the street outside, where they put makeup on me to cover the shine on my face. I am someone with a face made for radio, so I put some quality time in the makeup chair, which I had previously vowed I would never do. My wife was also taken to the makeup chair as she had a role as well in the video. My old, tired dog even made the cut and he was quite the star that day. The whole thing seemed surreal, and I felt like I was in a dream.
I have to be honest that I was feeling like a big deal and quite special, and I am not sure how my head made it through the doorway when I came back into the house. I had childhood dreams of doing interviews, and as a kid, I would conduct interviews in the mirror to my imaginary guests. My dreams were coming to fruition as I sat down to answer questions that were asked of me. I know it is silly, but I got a little teary-eyed as I thought of God's goodness to me. The day I dreamed about was coming to life right in front of my eyes, and I could think of countless other things that God had allowed me to do in my life that I only dreamt about.
My head began to deflate to normal size as I thought of the goodness of God, and I came back to reality to know that anything that I am or ever hope to be is because He has blessed me with the talent, skill and opportunity. Even our good works are but filthy rags, and God enables us with all blessings, gifts and talents. There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman as God is the Creator of all. We have nothing to be proud of in and of ourselves, but all praise and glory is owed to our good God. Psalm 8:4 states, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"
Have you selfishly taken credit for a talent God has given you? Do you give honor and glory to Him or do you desire to keep that all for yourself? Are you using the talents He has given you to serve Him, or do you only use them for your own personal benefit? God hates pride in our lives as He has given us all things, and for all things He should get the glory. May we desire to give Him the glory that is owed Him, and may we be careful to not be puffed up with pride. As my aunt would say, "To God be the glory!"