It’s Christmastime, hands down my favorite holiday of the year. Celebrating the birth of Christ, the humbled King of Glory come down to earth to save mankind by giving us a glimpse of the goodness and love of the Father . . . having to face the actualities of being human? Priceless.
Humility comes more easily for some than others. Most of us have something, big or small, we think we can do well. I told myself one day after trying unsuccessfully multiple times to “simply” attach a part to the hose of our air compressor and erupting in tears at my repeated failures to do so, feeling incredibly stupid, that I was a good driver. It seemed the only thing I could think of that I could do well.
Way back before it wasn’t politically correct to label children’s abilities on the SAT tests, I actually scored in the high 90 percentiles in all things English, Comprehension, and Literature. However, I scored abysmally in Mechanical Reasoning and Spacial Relationships. I still remember being baffled by the questions and drawings and finally had to randomly select answers. If I remember correctly, I scored in the 20 percentiles in those two categories and the results of those scores were labeled “Moron”. Seriously. Needless to say, I’ve been experiencing my own brand of humbling for a long, long time.
There have been two constants in my life, going back to early childhood: horses first, then writing stories. At the age of 20, this city girl finally found a way to be around horses at a Thoroughbred racetrack. Stayed in horse racing for a long, long time. My first novel was a comprehensive story of middle echelon horse racing, and it took me 8 and 1/2 years to complete it while still working at the track. So what does this have to do with humility? Everything.
In horse racing a “good” horse is one that wins big races, often known as “stakes races”. The strongest and best proceed to the famous Triple Crown. Many very good horses are set aside from injuries on their way to these grueling races. Few individuals get to experience a really good horse. And all along the way of racing, the humbling takes place in how we “fail” with the horses we have. We run them in too tough of spots. We get nosed out at the wire. And the list is endless.
I don’t need to explain to writers how humbling this field of endeavor can be. Rejections, negative reviews, rejections . . . And the list is again endless.
Yet it is far better to accept humility than to assume we deserve something better. Our very own personal Savior regarded becoming less than the angels so important because of us, each of us. Not faceless names in a chaotic crowd, but individuals with the triune God as our Creator, designed with His unique touch in our DNAs to produce beauty and truth for His pleasure. To catch the scope of this precision is . . . humbling.
Most of us write for a specific audience concerning our genres and with our voices. Let us never forget who supplies the inspiration and the talent for what we write. Apart from Him we can do nothing. Stay humble, my friends. And may the joys of Jesus be yours this Christmas.
Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. And a little rebellion. Humbly. Please visit her at hopeofglory.typepad.com.