I recently read Andrew Murray’s Humility. It was not an easy read (It was first published in 1895 – enough said), but it was profound. Murray presented the concept of humility, “the place of entire dependence on God,” in ways the world usually doesn’t, and I found myself racking my brain for an applicable metaphor for my pop culture-loving mind.
Then it came to me. The Sims!
Let’s be honest: I love The Sims. (Anyone else? 🙋🏼) I was practically an addict in high school, I spent a fair amount of time Simming during my summers off in college, and as an adult I forced myself to stop playing because I knew it was a colossal waste of time without any real-life rewards, and I felt convicted to spend my life more wisely.
It was a loss I mourned for some time, but you know what Céline says: the heart does go on. 😏
I think one of the reasons I loved The Sims so much is because I am a control freak and I was in control. I got to choose how my Sims looked, what kind of jobs they had, how big their houses were, who they fell in love with, and how many kids they popped out. And if anything didn’t go according to my perfectly calculated plans, I could always just pound out a cheat code 17 times in a row (Rosebud or Motherlode, to be precise) or exit without saving and hope that the second time around would bring the exact results I wanted – blue eyes instead of brown, girl instead of boy, triplets instead of twins. I designed everything the way I wanted it and then I got to watch it all play out – with plenty of continued assistance on my part.
In the world of humility, I am the Sim and God is the Simmer. He’s the person gaming and I’m just the little Sim he carefully created with a purpose in mind.
I am literally nothing without him. Every single thing I have, every single thing I am, every single thing I’ve accomplished, is all due to him.
He is the controller, and I am the one who is supposed to do what he commands.
He named me. He gave me a specific, unique personality. He planned ahead of time what my aspirations would be, who I would marry, who I would befriend in each season of my life, and what I would look like. He gave me my dad’s nose and my grandma’s stubbornness. And he gave me gifts! He wired me to be a reader, to be passionate about the truth, and to be super-organized. He placed me in environments where he knew I’d learn important life lessons and grow into more of the person he created me to be.
In the game, sometimes a Sim ignores the command she’s given and does whatever she wants instead. She takes a nap when she’s supposed to clean up the kitchen or gets a snack instead of striking up a conversation with the next-door neighbor.
Sometimes I act like that annoying Sim in real life, disobeying the command God gives me in favor of my own agenda. I hang out with friends I know aren’t the greatest influences. I accept a position that I know is all wrong for me. I stay in my safe little bubble instead of braving a new adventure that scares me, just because it’s familiar.
But the fact remains that even when I go my own way, even when I override (or completely disregard) God’s commands and blaze my own trail, God’s still the one who provided me with everything I have. He still gave me the personality and skills and passions I have, even when I use them for things that aren’t good. He’s still in control, even when I fight him every step of the way.
I am nothing – nothing – without him. I can choose to take what he’s given me and waste it or squander it, but he’s still the Giver of it all. Without him, I’d have no opportunities, no personality, no opinions, and no physical attributes. I wouldn’t be able to move a muscle if he had not first ordained it and designed my body to do so.
[Humility] is simply the sense of entire nothingness that comes when we see how truly God is everything.Andrew Murray
God MADE each one of us. He gifted us with specific things. We can choose what to do with it all, but it’s him who gave us our minds with the freedom to choose in the first place.
Humility, although not always one of my strong suits, has become a clearer concept to me as I consider just how empty I’d be without God’s existence and interference.
Humility isn’t putting ourselves down, like popular opinion sometimes says. (I’d be better at it if it was, because I am my own worst critic!) Humility is putting God up. It’s elevating him above ourselves. It’s acknowledging that he’s the Creator and Finisher of all things, and we’re just the vessels, waiting to be filled and willing to be used. Waiting to be told what to do so we can glorify him.
We’re the Sims, but he’s the Simmer. We are nothing, but he is everything, and in him, we are something. And in him and only because of him, we can be and do something special.
Simple as that.