This is a play on the movie Made of Honour – sorry – but it’s also the first of three human quests identified by Erwin McManus in Uprising, a book I’ve read ten times.
The first quest is for honour.
It is a journey from ego, or the false self, to eco, our true Self. As in the classic protagonist’s story, in order to find what we’re looking for, we must face challenges, cross thresholds, overcome obstacles, and finally obtain what we desire – which is not what we imagine it to be at the outset.
So it is with honour. Pride may come before a fall, but often it is far more subtle than the gross expressions of pride we might bring to mind. A friend of mine shared how he caught himself rolling his eyes at the suggestion his wife had made about where to place a piece of furniture. He had to ask himself, why did he think his idea was better than his wife’s?
My response to pride ought to be humility – to have a proper view and understanding of myself. In the Greek myth, Icarus was told by his father Daedalus not to fly to close to the sun, and see what happened. What I didn’t realise was his father had also told his son not to fly too close to the waves, else he wouldn’t gain the lift he needed to escape their island prison. There’s a sweet spot between having too high an opinion of ourselves or too low of one.
A proper understanding of who I am and what I must do leads me to recognise these things in others, it makes for stronger connecting. There’s also the matter of living in humility to the world I am a part of. This experience is one of integrating, becoming one with myself, one with others, with my world, and, if I have a god, with God too.
I am being moved from a selfish idea of honour to a selfless one. The person of honour acts courageously in solidarity with who they are; it’s not about being fearless but selfless. I don’t mean the kind of courage someone shows when they run into a burning building to save someone, but the kind that means we turn up everyday in pursuit of making available to others what is our unique contribution. When we know who we are and what we must do, we’ve identified how we will be most courageous on a daily basis.
SOMETHING TO DO: The four points in this journey – Pride, Humility, Integrity, Courage – relate to what we have mentioned as autopilot (pride), opening the mind (humility), opening the heart (integrity), and, opening the will (courage). Where do you feel yourself to be on this journey and what what are the stories that help you to know this?