The guys were going to Grand Rapids to a book store that smells of coffee. Then they were going to spend some time looking at guitars. I had other things to do but I really didn’t like the idea of the guys being gone all day without me. And I especially didn’t like the idea of missing out on a lazy Saturday browsing the bookstore that smells of fresh-brewed coffee. I invited myself to go along. They are always eager to have me along because I am good company, and I’m witty… and I always treat for lunch.
I drove for a while then swapped drivers so I could do some reading. Everything went well until we got to Alpine Avenue. Alpine in Grand Rapids is almost always nearly bumper to bumper. On Alpine a car stopped suddenly in front of us. Now I have another car with a wrinkle in its hood.
For some reason it seems my destiny. From 1992 to 1996 my mini-van was dented in the hood from a deer collision. From 1998 to 2001 my Ford Explorer was wrinkled in the hood, too. Now my “new” Volvo 740 has a similar mark.
For a just few weeks I drove around proudly with an unwrinkled sporty, European car. I was thinking about joining the yacht club…or taking up polo. When I first got the car I even considered looking into a membership at the Ram’s Horn Country Club. My Volvo would fit right in. But if I drove up there now with that big dent in the hood, they would chase me off like a mongrel at a dog show.
I should have known. There are some pretty graphic descriptions in the Bible of tragedy for those who ignore warnings against pride, like the warning at the end of the story of Nebucadnezzar’s humbling in Daniel: Those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” The Bible is rich with promises of the special care God has for those who walk humbly before Him. Like this one: “It is better to be of an humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:19) I should have seen it coming.
Take it from me. Here is a good policy: Humble yourself. Don’t make God do it.
Kenneth L. Pierpont
Riverfront Character Inn
January 26, 2004