This past week I was working with a group of elementary students on the topic of self-esteem, asking them to fill in a worksheet with something they could do that they were proud of. It's so much easier for little kids to give you a long list of things they are proud of than it is for adults to do the same.
But what most struck me most in that afternoon was was a timid girl who asked me quietly, "Does it have to be something from now or can it be from a long time ago?" I said of course it could be from a long time ago and what was she thinking about? And she replied: "When I was a baby, I didn't know how to walk at all. Then when I was one, I had to try really hard, but by the time I was two, I didn't even have to think about it." I smiled and said "that's great" and she turned to her worksheet and proudly filled in the blank: "good at walking."
By that standard, I'm still a baby in terms of living the Christian life the way I want to. I either don't do it at all, or have to think about it very hard. But I know several older women for whom acting gracefully doesn't seem to take much effort at all. That gives me hope that one day I will be as good at acting gracefully as I am at walking, that it will be so natural I forget to be proud about it at all.