Click here for part I.
In part I of my humility posts, I used the story of the washing of the feet as a framework to talk about humility.
In part II I want to share about my struggles with humility.
As many of our struggles do, this one started many years ago.
I grew up in a middle class home in Managua, Nicaragua. We lived in a relatively poor neighborhood. I lived in between two worlds, the world of middle class Managua, full of private schools, nannies and maids, and the world of my poor neighborhood, full of improvised games on the streets, shared meals and non stop pranks.
Because of my involvement in both of these worlds, I never really felt like I belonged to any of them.
I never was the popular kid. Never was good enough for sports, or the sorts of athletic feats that makes you popular in my country.
I was into classical music, art and technology.
Somehow knowing how to use Photoshop at the age of 12 and knowing the difference between a violin and a viola doesn't really make you the center of attention.
The mocking, the lack of connectedness, created a lot of resentment. I retreated into my hobbits.
One summer vacation I spent most of my time painting scenes of mountains, lakes and forests, creating my own little world, the decider of every fate at every brushstroke.
I may not be the best athlete, I thought, but I bet they don't know how to paint. What do they know about computers anyways?
My pride in my own little hobbits grew. My identity was found in them.
Eventually this pride slowly grew into cultural snobbery.
Yeah, they may mock me, but I'm better than them. I know more about the stuff that "matters". But I wish they knew how much better I am.
Even now as a follower of Jesus, I'm still struggling with this. I know my identity is found in Christ alone, but it is so easy to retreat into these cultural things to find comfort and self esteem.
But a metanoia is starting to occur in my mind, where culture, with all its fancies, style and ultimately, divisions, is starting to lose its taste.
And I believe that's where conversion starts.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" Romans 12: 2 NIV.
Culture is important, and has its important place in life. But culture is ultimately of this world, a construct of our hands and minds that in the end is perishable.
It is worth our time and attention, but not our lives.