A Humble Leaf

Fall means leaves and leaves mean HUMILITY!  It makes perfect sense right?  Well… maybe not.  Let me spell it out for you.

I walked down the street on a beautiful Sunday morning this month, leaves strewn beneath my feet.  Crunch, crunch, crunch.  I looked up and around at the beautiful fall colors in the crisp October air, simultaneously feeling a little guilty for destroying the leaves underfoot.

Humility.  Lately that concept has been so on my mind.

I used to think humility was defined by one’s decision to think they are the lowest of the low and totally without worth.

The leaves reminded me of this thought. The leaves I smothered fit this old definition of mine.  They were literally being walked all over and crushed, and they would not and could not fight back or stand up for themselves.  Is this humility?

During a talk given in October of 2010, Dieter F. Uchtdorf answered this question to perfection:

“Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of serving God and our fellowman.”

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!  I love this!  Humility does not have anything to do with telling yourself you are awful or worthless or lame or anything!

Sadly, humility does mean that alone you are nothing.

Alas!  Have no fear because here is the important part: humility means that with God you are EVERYTHING!

From Elder Uchtdorf I learned that if I think humility is about beating myself up, then there is something wrong with my attitude.  Luckily, this misconception is only about my attitude, not about the beautiful concept itself.

Humility is not thinking about yourself at all, but instead thinking about God.  Humility is about being grateful for what Heavenly Father has given you and proclaiming that gratitude to Him through actions. It is being willing to do whatever He needs of you.

Back to the leaves.  A humble leaf does not fall to the ground and powerlessly let people walk all over it.  A humble leaf allows Heavenly Father to lift it off of the sidewalk and use its unique colors to help Him teach others, uplift them, and bring them joy.

Let’s be instruments in God’s hands.  We are each in a specific time and place for a reason, how can we allow God to use us for good?  That is the question humble people ask.

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