Patti said in response to a fb status update: “I find a big issue for me is my pride doesn’t want to keep going thru the painful stage. I feel like the world’s longest beginner! But I’m committed.” As I ready Patti’s response this verse from Proverbs 16 came to mind: “Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs is full of pithy sayings heading right toward the heart of the matter without a lot of fuss. I like Proverbs.
Pride, like many words, has more than one meaning with a positive or negative connotation. On the positive side taking pride in our work is a good thing as it means that we’re doing our best work and we are striving to do better. Taking pride means that deep down we see the value of failures, missteps, mistakes as opportunities to learn and hone our skill. We see the value in practice, actively seeking those opportunities to do so. Taking pride allows us to see the best in others even when they cannot see that best, not yet. We see the value in who we are as God’s Children, are deeply thankful for the gifts we’ve been given and are willing to spend time growing. In recognizing this value, in taking pride we honor God.
Pride: thinking of oneself as more important, better than or superior to another. This type of pride can be deadly if left unchecked. Oh it’s just deadly. Pride dupes us into forgetting the value of practice, is wounded by failure, sees the worst intent, points out others flaws often mercilessly. Pride gets sloppy in work. Pride can dupe us into thinking we’re not good enough for this and never will be. Which leads to not doing something we should or would be very good at. Pride, oh words can sometimes fail me. So many words have flowed from so many writers over the years about the pitfalls of pride. Hannah Hurnard writes of pride in Hinds Feet, CS Lewis covers pride very soundly in the Screwtape Letters. I can see how Tolkein deftly weaves pride and it’s pitfalls through much of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.
I do love yellow roses.
As I’ve mentioned, shared with, told the tale of quilting and spirituality, the hardships of this last year have come bubbling to the surface. I share these experiences for oh so many reasons but deep down I long to let people know that they are not alone in their experiences. When I teach free motion machine quilting it’s important for me to share that the biggest difference between my students and me is the amount of practice. I firmly believe that with time, a little knowledge, patience and practice really good, show quality machine quilting can be achieved.
Yellow roses are my favorite, bright and cheery.
Being one of those people who like to reflect I can see how pride in my own life has led to some of the difficulty or has contributed to making it worse.
Did I ever tell you what I did to my yellow rose bush?
Recognizing pride for what it is is a gift, for you see in recognizing pride, acknowledging it and moving on quilt making can improve, skills can be built, the value of practice can be seen in the honing of this craft. Classes can be developed, book proposals or magazine articles can happen.
I pruned that rose bush so far back on year that there are no more yellow roses. Deep maroon from the original root stock. I pruned the grafted part right off.
Oh there are so many more words rattling around in my head. So many words to speak to myself about the ill effects of Pride. The words while meaningful will not make the point any further.
Dear Quilters embrace practice and failure as opportunities for growth. Seek advice when you need it. Be willing to let go of quilts that you will never finish for they have taught you all they can and are now taking up room in your quilt space. I know that I want to work on taking pride in my work: both quilt making and teaching and let go of pride. I know that deep down letting go of pride will bring great peace allowing me to continue practicing and hopefully growing as a quilt maker.