I’ve always considered myself an intelligent person. Not a brainiac by any means but someone that exercises good judgment, can organize a plan and can see my way clear to plan completion.
That was until last week!
Last week provided a new perspective on my abilities and judgment.
Here’s what happened.
My friend was making fabric surgical masks. You know the kind you can put a filter inside to give greater protection from our invisible viral enemy. She made them from fun cotton fabric and gifted me with a blue floral one.
She had neatly tucked a filter into the pocket and reassured me that it would protect me from all that attempted to assault my respiratory system. What I failed to recognize was the filter had been constructed from a vacuum HEPA-filter made from polyurethane.
Okay, you may already be jumping to the conclusion but just hold on…
My husband and I grabbed our masks and ventured out to our favorite grocery store, a brief trip to a local superstore, and a final stop at the gas station. We headed home and once there unloaded the car, put away our treasures, and washed our hands. And then it dawned on us. Our masks!
We heard we were supposed to clean them after each use so, after a little internet research and a consult with my microbiologist friend; I tossed them into the microwave, set the temperature to “high” and the timer for 2 minutes.
I had moved out of the kitchen and down the hall when I noticed an odd smell. I followed it back to the kitchen and to my shock, smoke was billowing out of the microwave. I opened the door and a cloud of white filled the kitchen. (Just as a side note, it is VERY hard to get the smell of burnt fabric out of your hermetically sealed virus protected home.) Our masks sat in the center of the turntable, a singed pile of smoldering fabric. I grabbed the masks, tossed them in the sink, turned on the faucet, made my way back to the microwave, and turned the fan to high. The smoke was still lingering as my husband rounded the corner, “What happened?” he asked. I responded with uncontrollable laughter “I sterilized the masks!”
He responded, “You microwaved the masks?!!” This time his question caused me to pause and I took a better look at the charred remains. And there it was the answer right in front of my face, the filters! I had forgotten to take out the filters!
Polyurethane does not hold up well when you microwave it.
So, that’s my story.
Okay, if I’m being completely transparent there is just a little more…
And here is where the story turns from laughter to humble admission.
If we back-up to the discussion my husband and I had about cleaning the masks, I failed to share that he had challenged me about my proposed cleaning technique (that was the reason for his questioning after the incident).
He had learned all that was needed to kill the virus was a quick spin in the dryer, a short stent hanging in the sun, or a spritz of disinfectant. But, my science-y friend had given an expert response and I was going to follow it.
Proverbs 16:18 reminds us,
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
New Living Translation (NLT)
In my case, pride came before a microwave fire.
Looking back over my life, it has been filled with times when self-importance came before harsh words that hurt my husband. Smugness came before decisions that resulted in devastating outcomes eroding my self-worth and value as a woman.
Egotism drove me to actions that forced a wedge between God and me.
Pride leads to destruction, every time, all the time. And the outcomes can be life-altering.
Our microwave was fine. All that was required was a little all-purpose cleaner and eventually, the burnt smell left our house. My friend gave me a second mask, a sweet puppy print.
But sometimes in life rebounding from our prideful behavior and their outcomes are not as easy. We can’t just sanitize our souls, air out our hearts and walk away. Sometimes, we have to get face down in front of our Father and repent of the attitude that keeps us trapped.
I encourage you to take a few minutes today to look at your heart. Do you harbor pride, cling to conceit, vanity, or an inflated ego? Are their outcomes in your life that you can trace back to your stubbornness?
God offers freedom from pride’s bondage.
He waits for you to reach out and confess. And every time we genuinely repent, He forgives and restores.
Andrew Murray, in his book Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness, shares,
Pride needs to die in us for anything of heaven to live in us.
BeLOVED, I am praying that pride is banished from your life so the blessings of heaven can overflow.