Saturday, January 06, 2024

Humility as Constant Forgetfulness of Our Own Achievements

(Heart-shaped snowflake in Monroe)

In the seventh century there was a Jesus-follower named John Climacus, who wrote a book called The Ladder of Divine Ascent. His book was about spiritual "rungs" of a ladder that, by the Spirit, we climb or ascend, growing ever closer to God. He came to be known as "John of the Ladder."

John of the Ladder wrote things like:

"A horse when alone often imagines that it is galloping, but when it is with others it finds out how slow it is." (Step 25:21)

And: "In drawing water from a well sometimes, without noticing it, we bring up a frog with the water." (Step 26:58)

OK. But...

John of the Ladder also wrote this: "Humility is: constant forgetfulness of our own achievements." (In James Houston, The Transforming Power of Prayer: Deepening Your Friendship with God, 20)

In prayer we bring ourselves, minus our own "glory," to God. Our prayer-focus is: Him, and Him alone. We lose ourselves, we "deny ourselves," so as to attend fully to Him. We're "all ears and eyes" for God. When this kind of heart-purity happens, the real prayer life has begun.

Sick is the person who sleeps in their own trophy room. (John of Monroe)

We lay down our "crowns" before God's throne, since Christ alone wears the Crown.