ON the WAY to HUMBLE
BY: JOHN R. GAVAZZONI
(A Short, Allegorical Devotional)
A certain Christian by the name of Humble-Bound, was so named by his Lord as a reminder to him that on his way to The Celestial City---all costs for citizenship, and permanent residence, having already been borne by His Lord and confirmed by His promise and oath---he must needs go by Way of the despised village of Humble. In fact, he would cross over into a disputed area claimed by both his present, very impressively adorned city of residence, Natural Pride, and his home-of-destiny, The Celestial City.
The farther he would advance along his way, the less resources Natural Pride would be able to muster to lay claim to the area, and the closer he got to Humble proper, the more he would sense that Natural Pride's authority must give way to the Authority of The Celestial City's presence and character in Humble. The former authority could not be compared to the latter. One was the authority of darkness, the darkness of the lie, the other, the authority of light, the light of the Truth. Each had power. Both powers would be felt keenly by Humble-Bound; the one at times so deceptively appealing, and so soul-tearing, as to bring Humble-Bound to the edge of despairing that he could ever make it to Humble, and from there to The Celestial City. Or if he still even wanted to make it. But as horrific as the power of despair might become, the inexorable power of hope would prevail, and Humble-Bound would make it to Humble.
Gradually it would increasing dawn on him, that His Lord had already been this Way. This very Way. And that His Lord had the ability, and the determination, to give him the very same power that His Father had given to Him to prevail on the journey. His Lord had prevailed through humiliation to fully arrive at Humble, yet it was humiliation that drew forth from Him His inherent humility. Humility must pass the test of humiliation. And so it was for Humble-Bound, for He was not greater than his Lord. Wisdom had not explained the humiliating circumstances that would serve to get Humble-Bound to Humble. He had assumed in his immaturity that he could and would make it to Humble, and beyond to The Celestial City, with some allowance for, and preservation of, a certain measure of self-dignity. Nay! It was not to be so.
Much of his progress forward on his way to Humble involved him not noticing where he was stepping, so that just one short step, time and time again, would send him hurtling down some embankment head first, face scraping on pebbles and rocks, clawing at anything he might hold onto to stop his plunge downward. Bloody and bruised at the bottom, each time he hoped he'd reached THE bottom, only to repeat the same just a little farther down the Way. Sometime it would be a completely unexpected powerful wind that would hurl him against a rock or tree, or tripping over one of the many rocks along the Way, all of them he came to realize finally were the rocks of self-confidence, even self-confidence in his humility. There was the time when an earthquake sent him sliding into a whirlpool that drew him downward into such dark, watery depths that he despaired of reaching the surface ever again.
An awareness finally grew though, as he pondered the path he'd taken thus far, that as miserable as his falls were each time, each time, HE FELL FORWARD, and that the time within the dark, watery depths, a Hand at reached down and pulled him to where he could breathe again. His Lord had come this Way for him, and now, in union with His Lord, and His experience, he came to know that he was going this Way for others. He paused at one point on the Way, and remembered assuring words of a song:
"There were ninety and nine that safely lay in the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away, far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountain, wild and bare,
Away from the Shepherd's tender care;
Away from the Shepherd's tender care.
"Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine; are they not enough for Thee.
But the Shepherd answered, 'this of Mine, has wandered away from me.
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep;
I go to the desert to find My sheep.'
"But none of the ransomed ever knew how deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through e're He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the darkness, He heard its cry;
Sick and helpless and ready to die;
Sick and helpless, and ready to die.
"But up from the mountain thunder riven, and out on the rocky steep;
There arose a glad cry from the gate of heaven, 'Rejoice, I have found My sheep.'
And the angels echoed around the throne,
'Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own;
'Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own.' "