It’s been one of those weeks when even the little things got to me. I thought I had trained myself to overlook the little things. But I realize that even I, perceived as one with a gritty exterior, feel disappointed from time to time. It happened this week.
I suppose it’s alright to check myself and determine if it is permissible to be disappointed. It’s not sinful. It’s also not a pleasant feeling. However, I believe it is a second cousin to humility. Huh? Yea, I said 'humility'. Anger, sadness, fear, and pain are all emotions which may be felt when feeling disappointed. As I have mentioned in another article, having a sense of humility is an escape from these emotions. Stepping back and realizing the joy I could feel instead of the disappointment I am feeling brings me back to where I want to be.
So, what happened?
This week I was looking forward to a lunch with a friend. At the last minute it fell through. You say, it was just lunch. Yes, it was. However, when lunch with this friend doesn’t happen that often, it was a punch to the gut. I allowed myself to fly high in anticipation, which meant the fall, when it was cancelled, was that much harder and it hurt when I hit the ground. I remember thinking that I wasn’t surprised. A little part of me half expected it. I elected to ring the humility bell and say, “step back and give the benefit of the doubt knowing my friend as I do, that something important must have compelled them to do so”. I then thought “WWJD” …What Would Jesus Do? It then became easier to accept the disappointment and turn it into humility which is what Jesus wanted me to do. I still don’t know why, but I know my friend, and they wouldn’t have cancelled without good reason.
How do you turn the feeling of disappointment into humility?
We all know that Jesus also lived with disappointment. Convincing so many that HE WAS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE, couldn’t have always been easy and we know not everyone believed or even believes today. It had to be frustrating for Him to know the way to heaven and live with the fact that not everyone believed Him. Jesus’ encouragement to His disciples to be humble of heart had to be difficult for them. Seeing things as black and white was likely the way they thought. He was Jesus. He was the Father. He was the Holy Spirit. But He came to earth as a human being to show us the way. He humbled himself by dying on the cross in obedience to The Father. Now there’s humility in lieu of disappointment for ya’.
Somehow, I manage to put three words together a lot. They are FORGIVENESS, HUMILITY AND DISAPPOINTMENT. Strange…maybe!! But if you are disappointed and allow humility to take its place, the reason for the disappointment can be forgiven. I’ve come to say … “It’s not about me, It’s about Him” a lot lately. This also helps me through disappointment as it comes my way occasionally.
As I said in the title, I was disappointed in myself that I was disappointed. However, the fact that I realized it so quickly also helped me get on the other side of it. I remember thinking, “Get off the mat and move on!!” Again, it was just lunch. It was a little thing. There are so many other things I need to focus on. I’m sure we will work on another lunch another time.
Humility is thinking about me less and others more. So, my not enjoying lunch with my friend, forced me to think about me less and why my friend had to cancel. An emergency maybe? Were they ill? Perhaps an unexpected meeting which they couldn’t miss? All are all possibilities I had to remind myself to consider. I’ll know why soon enough. But even when I do, even if it is not any of these, I’ll ensure I ask Jesus to remind me to exercise a little humility and accept the reason, whatever it may be.
Next time you are disappointed, remember……… replace it with humility. It will bring some peace to your day.