I recently decided to hike a mountain known for being a difficult climb compared to nearby mountains. I started late and knew that I would be in the dark during my hike. I was excited and confident. On the trail, I commended others for getting outside on a beautiful fall day with their friends and families. I encouraged the men who were embarrassed at being out-hiked by a girl. I felt God would be proud that I was humble enough not to judge the other hikers. Judgment, in my mind, is reserved for God and God alone.
It was only on the hike down I realized just how much humility I lacked. As I reached the summit the cold and wind were numbing. As the sun set I turned on my headlamp, only to find that the batteries were dying. Every few minutes the lamp shut off. I could barely see under the moon as my ankles turned over rocks. What if I broke my ankle? What if my headlamp went totally out? What would I do? Would God be willing to overlook my complete lack of preparedness?
All I had considered were my prior experiences, conquering similar mountains with ease. I was overconfident in my ability to hike quickly; to hike in the dark with just a headlamp. I had been completely arrogant, not humble at all. Hubris is cautioned against everywhere – from the Bible to Greek mythology. Would God make me a cautionary tale for others? All I could do was pray to God that I arrived at the end of the trail safely.
I realized that there are different types of hubris. While I did not feel superior to others, I did begin my journey full of pride. Nature is quite humbling. In the end, the outcome is up to God.