Humility: Pausing for the Divine

Experience the strength and power of humility by humbly letting the Divine take the lead in your daily life.

pastel painting

The bush burned, but was not consumed. Moses looked and turned aside to see this great sight (see Exodus, chap. 3). It was his humble pausing to observe and ponder the
Divine that opened up a conversation with God and subsequently led him to fulfill a mission that still blesses the world today. 

Humility can be described as a turning of thought to the Divine, to God. It is a quiet focus of motive that desires only to listen for and follow the divine will. In fact, the will, the law, of God is already written in our hearts (see Jeremiah 31:33), and humility recognizes its presence. 

When God spoke to Moses, He invited him to take off his shoes, because Moses was standing on holy ground. It was as if God was saying—remove the shoes of self-doubt, fear, guilt, stress, discouragement, and matter-based thinking that mire you down in limitations, and stand on the holy ground of Spirit. 

Today, we are invited to do the same. We, like Moses, can humbly pause for the Divine to take the lead in our lives and expect to experience the blessings of that love of God right in our midst. Humbleness of thought drops the material picture and graciously stands with divine Truth. What a relief to shed the shoes of self-centered plans and humbly yield to the purpose of divine Love. Humility gives us the grace whereby we take our God-established position in Mind’s universal plan.

When Moses questioned his ability to accomplish what God had told him to do, God assured him that He would be with him. As we are humble, we accept that the divine presence is with us, providing us with every quality needed for any given situation. Moses asked God His name and God replied, “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14). It is interesting that “I” is the subject and “AM” is the verb. I is the one Ego and AM is the action of that Ego expressed. We could say, God is the I and we are the AM, the individual action of God expressed. We really then have no option but to faithfully and joyously shine forth and express God as He has outlined. All that we do is initiated and empowered by God. This understanding dissolves the mortal ego of either superiority or inferiority. 

Moses accomplished all that he did, not because he was a super hero with a big ego, but because he was humble and acknowledged the one Ego, the I AM. What a secure and peaceful position humility provides to all of us! In such a position, man’s and woman’s infinite capacities for doing good are seen. Humility is like light shining through a prism, revealing the multitudinous colors of our unique expression of good as an idea of the infinite Mind. Understanding and living humility serves us well as we move through life, even in the minutiae of our days. Humility quiets the heart, removes the fretting and worries, and blankets us with spiritual comfort.

The opposite of humility is human will. Sometimes it’s not our human will that we face, but the will of someone else or the collective will perhaps of a government or a company. My husband was a top business development executive in an organization, yet because of circumstances and opinions apparently beyond his control, he was removed from his position at the company. It was the corporate will that prevailed. In the severance documentation, the company made a significant legal error that would have enabled him to successfully sue the company—a perfect opportunity for a battle of wills. 

Humility, though, is not self-assertive, but lets the divine plan and purpose assert itself. It holds no resentment, no feelings of being a victim. Rather, humility forwards the dignity of all. It cherishes the good of everyone and sees straight through to the Godlike nature of all. Instead of pushing for his own will and sense of justice, my husband turned to God and trusted that God’s will was unfolding. Shortly, he was offered another fulfilling job. When this job was completed, new leadership from the previous company offered him a job with several new elements. The transition back was seamless. 

Humility is not weakness, but strength, because it hitches our life to the power of good. It silences arguments of fear and confusion and provides quietude of thought that is aware of right ideas for every situation. Mary Baker Eddy wrote of humility: “Experience shows that humility is the first step in Christian Science, wherein all is controlled, not by man or laws material, but by wisdom, Truth, and Love” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 354). 

Once as Mrs. Eddy was waiting to go into a room where she was to answer reporters’ questions, she paused and then went in. When a member of her household asked later why she had paused, she said that she was letting the Christ go before her (see Robert Peel, Years of Authority, p. 268). And so, at any moment, we can pause in thought to be guided by God’s Christ, the divine idea of Truth and Love. 

Humility is not weakness, but strength, because it hitches our life to the power of good.

Humility is also the guiding light in our healing work. Our thought is humbly kneeling to the inspiration of Mind and sincerely listening for the message of the healing Christ. Not only does humility open the way for the sunlight of Truth to shine freely in our thought, but it also frees us from human will, whether it appears to be individual or collective. Eddy instructs us, “It is the mortal belief which makes the body discordant and diseased in proportion as ignorance, fear, or human will governs mortals” (Science and Health, p. 209). If we are demonstrating humility in letting the divine will be manifested, then that eliminates from thought any human will that may suggest itself as the will of the flesh, including the course of disease, the determination of DNA, the prophecy of materia medica, and the force of time. Really, any so-called material law is the opposite of God’s law or will, and humility acknowledges that God’s will is already done. It is operating now and forever, and we, as children of God, are the embodiment of God’s will in action, forever embodying its health-giving harmony. This understanding brings healing, for it leaves no room for any will of the flesh to have its way with us or anyone. 

One time, I had not been feeling well. There was internal pain and weakness and organic malfunctioning. After praying, I was feeling stronger and the disorder was almost gone. Then, in the middle of the night, there was a sharp pain like a vise increasingly tightening. Right in that awakening moment, I humbly paused to listen to divine communication.

The thought that came was, “Whatever is cherished in mortal mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body” (Science and Health, p. 411). The word cherished stood out to me. To cherish means to “hold dear.” I really woke up to the notion that, in a way, I was “holding dear” this discordant condition! So, I immediately dropped from thought that this condition was a part of my being. God’s will, His law, was governing all “from the mental molecule to infinity” (Science and Health, p. 507). I was not subject to the will of a disease, to the will of an organ, or to the will of matter, but exclusively to God’s will. The whole weight of my thought shifted to the side of God’s will being done now and always and finally. That left no room for this condition. 

Another idea that came to thought was: “If we follow the command of our Master, ‘Take no thought for your life,’ we shall never depend on bodily conditions, structure, or economy, but we shall be masters of the body, dictate its terms, and form and control it with Truth” (Science and Health, p. 228). I reasoned that just as Christ Jesus dictated to the man with the withered hand to stretch it forth, to the palsied man to take up his bed, and to the blind man to look up, wasn’t the power of the Christ here with me, giving me the authority to dictate the terms of the body, that it be harmonious and well, obedient to God’s law of harmony? It was God’s will for me to be well!

In those few minutes of humble prayer, it was as if the tender, loving hand of God was adjusting my thought and body such that I felt like the woman in the Bible when “she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague” (Mark 5:29). I sensed the healing touch of the Christ that reveals man’s oneness with God’s law. I felt the governing rhythm of Soul regulating, systemizing, harmonizing the actions of my being. I was instantly well. 

Humility in healing rejoices that only God’s will, His law, is in control of our being. The world says a host of human laws control us through diet, exercise, environment, microbes, matter cells, or accidents. Humility surrenders to the supremacy of God’s will, His universal law of health, and honors no other will or power but God, good. 

True humility is reflecting in thought and life God’s will for us, and Christ Jesus sought to do only God’s will in all his lifework. He humbly acknowledged, “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30) and “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). His life was a living prayer of humility. In Gethsemane his sublime humility yielded completely to God’s will. In doing that, Jesus also separated himself from the suggestion that he was subject to the malicious human will of the crowd and placed his life wholly in the realm of the Divine. What was God’s will for him? Jesus knew, “I know that [God’s] commandment is life everlasting” (John 12:50). The outcome of that humble yielding exalted him to reveal for us all, man’s indestructible, eternal life. How can we truly live, then, without humility?

Each of us is called to live a humble life, a life that is modestly, yet surely, yielding to and reflecting the divine will. In humility we kneel in thought before the one Mind, divine Love, and we feel divine Love lifting us onward and upward. With our unshod feet firmly on the holy ground of humility, we pause; then, we can walk over waves of fear, run through the valley of despair, skip freely on the mountaintops of joyful, unbounded vision, travel on the highway of heaven, and “climb the heights of holiness” (Science and Health, p. 514).

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