Pride is a good soul killer

I know this picture seems to be a bit awkward (not to mention about 2 seasons late) seeing how Spring has officially arrived.  But those beautiful leaves have been covering my yard for the last 5 months.  So this past Saturday and Sunday afternoon were officially deemed as the “Yard work that should’ve been done 2 seasons ago Weekend.”  Let me start by saying that I and the help of some family members had already spent a full day bagging leaves in the Fall which amounted to about 50 large bags of leaves.  Those 50 bags were a little more than half of our yard.  We have way too many trees for my yard work tolerance.

So I was off to work in the yard Saturday morning by myself this time.  That is my responsibility as the man of the house to take care of my “man of the house” duties.  Sidenote:  One of the most defining moments in my life in becoming a man was the day I bought my first lawnmower.  I mean that is a serious rite of passage for every man with a yard.  Anyways, I think it’s appropriate to mention that Kristen would’ve more than helped me but had more important responsibilities to tend to, in the form of a 9 week old baby.  She did however pick up 3 bags of pine cones when Bailey went down for a short nap.  I spent about 7 hours bagging leaves.  Not all was lost.  I got a much needed chance to listen to a Chandler and Driscoll podcast as I raked.  When it was time to call it quits for the day, my efforts landed me close to 30 bags of leaves.  Not too bad.

When I set out on the yard work weekend, my goal was to get the leaves bagged, clean the gutters, and mow the grass for the first time this season.  As Sunday afternoon approached, reality set in and I settled on just wanting to make sure the leaves got bagged once and for all.  I wasn’t the only one doing yard work.  Our neighbors were out taking care of their yards as well, so I wasn’t alone in my efforts.  I figured I had about 15 bags of leaves left.  I had a little less than 3 hours to finish up the yard, so off I go.  I was about 8 bags in, when my neighbor Calvin got my attention on his riding lawnmower and asked if I needed a hand.  I responded the same way any prideful idiot would say…”No thanks, I got this.”  Deep down I was thinking, I would LOVE some help right about now… atleast that’s what my back was telling me.  He asked again, “You sure, I don’t mind at all.”  I fought him again, “No thanks, it’s really ok.”  Then finally he just said he would take a few passes in my front yard with his rider (that’s street language for riding lawnmower).  I finally gave in, “Alright man.  Have at it.  Thanks a ton.”

I immediately thought, this is great!  I’ll at least have part of the yard cut.  It wasn’t long before Calvin and one of his kids were in the backyard helping me bag the rest of my yard.  It took no time at all with a few extra hands.  We knocked it out quick.  Calvin borrowed my blower and he let me use his riding lawnmower to cut the rest of the yard.  Once again I told him how much I appreciated the help and his response was “Shoooot, that’s what neighbors are for.”

Me and Kristen really try to love our neighbors.  It was such a blessing to experience being loved by them as well.  Pride is such a killer for the soul.  A huge part of me wanted to attack the weekend all by myself so that I could say when it was finished, “Hey, I did that… all by myself” and then I envisioned a spot-light would shine on me as my neighbors and family gathered around celebrating in a round of applause.  What an idiot. Pride not only leads you to do stupid things, but it also cause you to miss out on grace-filled opportunities all the time.  I’m thankful God humbled me yesterday and showed me that while I need to be quick to love my neighbor, I also need to be as quick to humble myself and ask for help as well as allow others to help me too.  After all, God helps the helpless; NOT those that help themselves.

James 4:6 – But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”


2 responses to “Pride is a good soul killer

  • Matt Rigney

    I can so relate to this, bro. I’ve had several people tell me that I should’ve told them I was moving a couple of tons of dirt via wheelbarrow from the front to the back yard so they could’ve helped.

    Easy to come up w/excuses (“Oh, I only have one shovel, it wouldn’t have mattered.”) and kill myself all day. Why? Because I think that somehow I’ve accomplished and self-justified myself? I talk about living in community with people all the time, but the past week was a reminder that I have a lot of work to do in learning to let people live with me in the (literally) dirty, nitty gritty parts of life.

    • mrjvo

      Haha. I’m thankful my neighbor knew better than to buy the excuses I was throwing at him and took initiative to come and help. I know my back is thankful.

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