I made a reservation for a particular type of room only to be told that I needed to be "down-graded" due to the fact that my preferred type of room was no longer available when I went to check-in. My initial reaction was almost anger - then I caught myself...afterall, it was just for one night so what was the point of getting upset?
When walking to the office, it just hit me...this was déjà vu with a difference- I'll explain...
During my trip, I was reading Max Lucado's book "Cure for a Common Life" and almost burst out laughing when I read about his "arrow of humilation" experience during a book signing tour (see page 87 - "Tank your reputation"). Without saying "serves you right," I'm almost sure I may have thought that in my subconscious. Only for me to receive my own "arrow of humilation" less than 3 hours later - that's when it struck me that this was a classic case of "déjà vu with a difference" and I couldn't resist sharing it because of the 5 lessons I learned:
- Never "look down" on anyone (including yourself) if/when that person is "down." Micah 7: 8* warns us not to laugh at those who are down...they will rise again.**
- One unmistakable test of true humility is when something "humbling" happens to you. Ask anyone who has been humilated they'd tell you it's always better to be humble than to be humilated - so never think of yourself more highly than you should.***
- Learn from every "hump" in your life journey. I immediately spun this experience around and asked, how can we ensure that this doesn't happen to other guests?
- Remain grateful for all you have - because your situation could have been worse.
- Ensure that you heed, not just hear, whatever the Lord says to you. I felt that my colleague and I should check-in before we settled in at the office but my colleague felt otherwise...and that delay resulted in the "down-grade." Simply put, there is always a price to pay for disobedience...and more importantly, learn from the experience and do not repeat the disobedience otherwise, you may have a "déjà vu with a difference."
* Micah 7:8 - Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. (NLT)
**Prov 24:16 - The righteous may fall seven times but still get up, but the wicked will stumble into trouble. (Common English Bible)
***Rom 12:3b - I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance] (Amp)