Seeking a Humble Heart

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Seeking a Humble Heart

Postby Karen » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:50 pm

Humble. Humility. Humiliation. I've been told those all come from the Latin word "humus" -- dirt. Now dirt can be good or bad -- muddy footprints to clean off the floor, or it can be the ground to sow seeds that produce a harvest. Either one.

Right now I'm trying to quiet and humble my heart.

Two years ago, after losing a good job due to an office closing, I made a mistake and began working at a place where my value system didn't fit in. Not being completely honest, and saying things that aren't exactly the truth is the way business was conducted. I began looking for another job, but wasn't able to find one. I was under stress, crying at home, and making mistakes at work. I hated having to come up with ways of saying things that weren't officially a lie, so that I wouldn't hate myself after saying them.

Things came to a head last summer. I won't go into details, but I told the truth to a customer, and didn't allow the person to be cheated. My employer was furious, and was not polite went he expressed his displeasure with me. I thought about walking out the door and never coming back, but decided I had to wait until I had another income. So I continued job hunting. My hours were cut way back, and my hourly wage was reduced, but I was employed.

Then last Sunday morning, as I was getting ready for church, my employer called me at home and informed me he had to terminate me. The reason he gave was because the store's new technology was too complicate for me, and I was slower than the other workers. Perhaps that was the truth, or perhaps there were other reasons for the termination, but either way my job had ended. I was told I would be allowed to collect unemployment, and would be given a good job reference.

I told myself it was all for the best. I was no longer working at a place I was ashamed to be associated with, and I would have a small income until I found a new job.

A small income is right. What with my low hours, I will be getting unemployment benefits that will pay the rent and most of the phone bill, but nothing else. I've spent most of my savings for car repairs, but I still have a little money left, and soon I'll be getting a tax refund. What with the library providing both free WiFi for my aging laptop, and newspapers to read help wanted ads, I'll figure out a way to get by.

But what should I do about tithing my income? For 25 years I've been getting through all impossible money problems by giving 10% of my income to worthy causes. And, I must admit, there were times I'd listen to news reports of people losing all they owned due to the bad economy, and I'd smugly think how I was safe because I was a good person who tithed. But now, when my upcoming income will be way less than is needed, would it be better to just hang onto anything I get?

I've prayed and asked for guidance, but no answers have come. So I had to dig into my broken heart and plant seeds I hope will provide a harvest.

Now is not the time to quit trusting. If my income isn't large enough, hoarding all of it isn't going to solve my problems. So I will tithe. Not as an insurance policy, and not as paying "protection money" to a vengeful God. But as a reminder that all I have is from the providence of God, and He knows better than I do on how to make a little bit of money do the work of a larger income.

I don't want to be in the situation I'm in. It's humiliating. Humiliation comes from humus -- dirt. I need a heart that's ready and open for sowing seeds that will produce a good harvest, not one laced with bitterness.

I don't know what the final harvest will be, but I'm doing my best to acquire a humble heart.
"Remember that you are the guardians of beauty in the world."
Pope Paul VI - Message to Artists
Karen
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:27 am
Location: Cochranton, Pennsylvania

Re: Seeking a Humble Heart

Postby Karen » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:22 pm

Just an update on my financial and employment challenges.

I received a call from a lady asking if I'd make a new altar cloth for Lent. Before I could get it finished a hiring agency asked if I'd take a short term job filling in for a receptionist who will be out on a medical leave. I said I would, and was chosen for this full-time job that will last from one to six weeks. The hourly pay is more than I have ever earned!

Since I had to start training for that job at the end of last week I rushed and got the altar cloth finished, and delivered it to the mission church in my parish. Since I would be earning good wages for a time I said I wanted to donate my labor, but that offer was refused, and I was given $30 for my work.

I don't know what will be happening next month, or next year, but for the time being I have a fine income. And I will be tithing on all the money God has blessed me with.
"Remember that you are the guardians of beauty in the world."
Pope Paul VI - Message to Artists
Karen
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:27 am
Location: Cochranton, Pennsylvania


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