In February of 1984, I took part in a wonderful program called the Oregon Youth Legislature. For one week during the spring, high school students from around the state gathered in our capitol building to put on a mock legislature. Students wrote bills they wanted to see enacted into law, walked them through the committee process, and if they survived, presented those bills on the floor of the State Legislature to their fellow students.
I was appointed to serve as a state senator, and with my friend Rob Brabish, we wrote a bill requiring public schools to present creationism as an alternative if evolution was also presented in the school. The bill passed committee, I gave an impassioned speech for approval from the senate floor, and after a standing ovation, the bill was passed. Then our youth governor, Jay Goldsmith, vetoed it after heavy lobbying by several other students.
There came a time in the process, when all the members of the senate made a dignified procession to the house chamber to hear the student governor explain his agenda for the session. Both chambers in the Oregon Capitol Building are separated by polished marble stairs, and we made our way across the rotunda. About half-way down the stairs I lost my stride on the shiny floor and tumbled head-over-heels to the rotunda floor. So much for dignified.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in our accomplishments and achievements. The problem comes when we think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3). God has a way of bringing us back to reality when we fail to keep a humble heart about ourselves. He wants us to think of ourselves not more than – nor less than – He thinks of us. That day in Salem, God humbled me. I wish it had been the last time He had to humble my proud heart. It wasn’t. God will have to keep working on me.