Wise words from Michael Ramsey, earlier Archbishop of Canterbury, to a group of people on the eve of their ordination:
1. Thank God, often and always… Thank God, carefully and wonderingly, for your continuing privileges… Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.
2. Take care about confession of your sins… Be sure to criticize yourself in God’s presence: that is your self-examination. And put yourself under the divine criticism: that is your confession…
3. Be ready to accept humiliations. They can hurt terribly, but they help you to be humble. There can be the trivial humiliations. Accept them. There can be the bigger humiliations… All these can be so many chances to be a little nearer to our humble and crucified Lord.
4. Do not worry about status… There is only one status that our Lord bids us be concerned with, and that is the status of proximity to himself…
5. Use your sense of humour. Laugh about things, laugh at the absurdities of life, laugh about yourself, and about your own absurdity. We are all of us infinitesimally small and ludicrous creatures within God’s universe. You have to be serious, but never be solemn, because if you are solemn about anything there is the risk of becoming solemn about yourself
I especially appreciate “use your sense of humour – “We are all of us infinitesimally small and ludicrous creatures within God’s universe.” Serving God should be filled with laughter!!
(taken from John Stott – “The Living Church”)