Many years ago, I read the following fable.
Turtle live in a pond. Daily he sat on a log, observing the ducks flying way up in the sky. Turtle longed for something new. He desired a great adventure. He wished that he too could soar among the clouds as the ducks did.
One afternoon as the ducks were swimming in the pond, they paused near Turtle’s log.
“Good ducks,” he said, “teach me to fly.”
“We cannot teach you to fly,” the ducks replied. “No, you have no wings. You can only swim and walk. You must stay in this pond and on this log.”
“Surely you can teach me to fly,” he argued. “Two of you can hold this stick in your bills. I will hold it in the middle while you carry me between the two of you.”
After thinking this through, the ducks agreed. They held the stick in their bills and turtle held fast clamping his mouth on the stick.
What a sight to behold! A turtle flying dangling between two ducks as they carried him higher and higher in the sky.
Soon they flew over a village where the villagers looked up at Turtle and the ducks. One villager said to another, “Who was so wise as to think of that?”
Filled with pride, the turtle shouted, “I was!”
But when he opened his mouth, he fell to the ground. That was the end of Turtle’s adventures for that was the end of Turtle.
The wise man records:
- When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
- By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)
- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
- One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)
Pride is a dangerous trait. Pride can keep us from obedience to God. Pride can keep us from knowing our need for forgiveness or at least to admit that need.