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A Lesson in Humility

The first new car I owned was a 1988 Dodge Shadow. It was stolen one night because I did not secure it properly. I lived on the east side of town and the majority of my commitments were west.

During Wednesday night Bible Study at my ministry, I told the people what happened. Their love and compassion was overwhelming. One woman gave me a check for insurance. Another woman gave me a check for a new registration. Deacon James Boykin offered me a car to use temporarily. He told me to meet him at his house the next day and he would loan me one of his cars.

The next day I went to his home and my eyes lit up as I saw all these wonderful cars in his driveway. I thought I would have my pick of some cool whips. He took me to his garage to show me what he was loaning me and to my surprise it was not what I expected. He gave me a 1970 Volkswagen van that looked like it has been in a war. It had one seat, no air, no heat, and no music. But I was gracious and took it.

Eventually, I got used to it and found that it was the right car for me to drive. I had plenty of time to think, pray, and gather my thoughts about my life and my future. Not to mention no one would ride anywhere with me so I was always in the van alone. After a few months I got back on my feet, purchased a new car, and returned the van to Deacon Boykin.

I took the van back to him and he asked me if I wanted to buy it. I said, "no thank you", but appreciated his generosity during a difficult time in my life. He then said, "I see something in you. A person with pride would not be seen in a car like that, but you drove it and did care what people thought about you. That tells me you have humility. You will go far in life."

Deacon Boykin passed away a few years ago, but I will always remember the lesson on humility I learned from him. As I young man, I was always encouraged and inspired by his wisdom. The greatest life lessons are not always learned from reading books or listening to lectures. Some of the best lessons I learned came from experiencing life at its worst and learning that a little humble pie doesn't taste that bad.

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