There is a scripture in the Holy Bible that reads, "God opposes the proud, and gives grace to the humble." Well, we could all use grace, and we certainly don't want to be opposed by God, do we! This scripture comes to mind as I reflect on what almost became an argument with Rueben, but what instead brought us closer together.
A couple of weeks ago, I registered for an online course to prepare for a New York State licensing exam in Life and Health Insurance. I need to pass an exam before an employer who thinks I am just wonderful can hire me to work in his firm. The material is extremely dense and complicated. Usually, I am highly motivated to study. And thank God, so far, I have been doing very well in the course. But all weekend long, I blew it off. When Rueben noticed I hadn't been studying, he was concerned. He warned me not to "drag it out."
Once he said that, pride, hurt, and anger collided. "Drag it out? That means I haven't studied on purpose! But it wasn't on purpose," I said, raising my voice. He said he didn't agree with me and I said I didn't agree with him. Just as things were about to deteriorate, I abruptly said,"Let's just agree to disagree."Then that was the end of it. Or so I thought. Soon after that we kissed goodnight and he went to bed. I stayed up a bit. I decided to put our disagreement to a vote. I wrote to my girlfriends and copied him asking them if someone said to you that you had dragged something out, would you think he meant you did so accidentally or intentionally.
My best friend Kim, had the first response, and the wisest. She called me and asked for more details. Long story short, I ended up admitting that over the weekend I procrastinated and that procrastination is intentionally putting something off, so Rueben was right and I was wrong.
I sent Rueben an e-mail apologizing for getting so angry with him and saying he was right and I was wrong. But here is that part that is astounding. He did not say "See. I told you so." He graciously, humbly accepted my apology for getting angry, and then he apologized for unintentionally hurting me. Humility is a protective shield in the battle we call life. Because we were both humble, God blessed us with a profound feeling of closeness this afternoon when all this went down via BlackBerry.