BUT when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honoured in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14: 10-12
The other day I was at a wedding and a man looking quite pompous and important entered the hall and made his way to the seat at the front of the hall. Since the organizers didn’t know who he was they moved aside with reverence, seated the man comfortably on a chair. He looked around and called rather harshly to a waiter to get him a glass of water. He then smiled to himself. “Someone important!” I thought to myself, “must be a close friend of the family”. Later I watched as one by one people were called to the head table to sit with the family.
They came from all corners of the hall. I realized that most of them had no idea they would be acknowledged, they appeared quite surprised and walked forward humbly yet happy. I waited to see when the important looking man would also be called to the table, but he never was!
How often this happens, we feel it is our right to the head table. We try to lord over our family, act like bosses with our colleagues, thinking we have a right, till we find that actually we have no seat at the head table.
I enjoyed seeing the other people who were called up: “Sir your name has just been announced, please walk up to the head table!” “Me, but I am a nobody, there are so many more important people here!” “No sir you are the important person, let us escort you!” And suddenly somebody humble stands and with the whole hall applauding makes his way to the table at the front. We all have been in similar situations and also sometimes we deserve to have been invited up to sit with the host, sometimes it was just a mistake we were not called, but this is the time to be gracious.
This is the time that people watch to see how you react. When you react like a spoilt child who has not been given a favourite toy, then the world laughs at such pettiness.
Learn to wait humbly, and as the Bible says, take the lowest place till your turn comes and oh yes if that did not happen today, be gracious, be big to accept it, because “those who humble themselves will be exalted..!”