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Location: Huaraz, Ancash, Peru

Having mastered the University of Montana's IYFD program, I journeyed to Peru with the US Peace Corps. Currently, I'm discovering Peru while living in the gorgeous Andes mountains in beautiful Ancash. Come visit!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Humbling Experiences

I had an incredibly humbling experience today: I had to retake the driving test. It was humbling on several levels. First, I was humbled because I lost my Oregon license which meant that I would have to retake the test in order to get my Montana license. It was also humbling to know that I had been driving for just short of ten years, and I didn't remember anything from the written test section. I was also humbled as I sat in my car taking the driving portion knowing that the test monitor was watching every move I made, and this is a person with a lifetime experience of seeing drivers good and bad. The driving test monitor KNOWS driving.

There was a famous man from a few centuries ago that also had a humbling experience, except this time he wasn't taking a driver's test. He was taking the ultimate vocational test. His name was Isaiah. Isaiah, one might recall, was an Old Testament prophet circa the eighth century before Christ. God was mad at his people for their idolatry and rotten behavior. So he chose one man, Isaiah, to reveal His mighty judgment and destruction. In the midst of all of the drama, Isaiah actually encounters the living God. We read about the encounter in the book of Isaiah.

Can you imagine what it would be like to stand in the presence of the almighty? He is the greatest of the great, the best of the best, and the ultimate of all. He KNOWS everything. He KNOWS all of the sin and messiness that consumes our lives. He KNOWS our driving records better than any driving test monitor. Think about it: he knows when we speed (even when we're not caught), he knows when we don't stop exactly at the stop sign, and he knows when we forget to use our turn signal. To stand in his presence would be to know true humility. And Isaiah did (6:5), "Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!" But Isaiah knows much more than we do about humility. Here's a man that must be pretty special because he's been chosen by God to speak to the people of Israel, and yet, he says that he is lost. He is aware, not only of his sins, but the sins of the people he lives with. That is true humility. And he embraces it and confesses it before the All-Knowing. But God doesn't leave him there, God picks Isaiah up, dusts him off, has a seraphim touch his lips with a piece of coal (who hasn't had that happen to them - really) and says, "Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out" (6:7). How great that an omnipotent, omniscient, all-powerful being would forgive us when we come humbly before him and just ask for it.

I did pass the test by the way. I am now a licensed Montana Driver. But I still feel humbled by the whole interaction. And sometimes it's hard to lift up your eyes to look at the Great Mysterious and see your imperfections in the midst of his perfectness. Yet, what an amazing God we have that will walk with us and forgive us when we come before him in humility like Isaiah did.

"And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20b


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