A famous proverb states, “Pride comes before a fall.” You can be certain that every fall leaves you on the ground with a decision to make from that downward position. If you need a picture on pride to teach a lesson, use my failure and the ripple effect of pain it caused.
My fall landed me in prison, but that is the least of the burden I carry and not the reason I share my “talk from prison.” I share because I do not want to see anyone take a fall because they ignored their pride. The headline read, “Local professional soccer player involved in fatal DUI accident.” That was the sickening obvious fact, but the underlying root story would never be read. My decision to drink and drive stemmed from a thorn disguised as a rose; the rose of confidence.
Three years ago, this month, my pride was at an all time high. So high that I masked my emotional pain of a torn ACL in a professional soccer game at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. I knew my professional career was uncertain the very moment it happened; but the mental trauma only watered my pride further.
My pride wouldn’t allow me to admit what I was feeling internally —fear for my future. Pride makes you fake strong, but in reality, it keeps you weak. And as I refused to admit that I was weak, I ignorantly chose to settle my pain in a bar full of sympathizers.
I had a choice after my first fall, my injury, but I neglected the proper response of reliance on my faith and God’s bigger purposes. Five days later, I found myself wrapping my head around the State Troopers words, “The other driver is deceased.” Those words are imprinted on my mind and heart and the mental pain fuels its purpose in my life.
Now in prison, my pride is at an all time low and that’s a good thing. But I also know that he who believes to have removed all pride is never humble enough. The war I wage with pride is a daily battle. I now know that physically nobody wants to reveal the thorns in their character and that’s why we display the rose.
But God knows best, and He allowed this mental thorn knowing it would keep my pride choked out. Prison doesn’t humble the man, only man can humble himself. Pride is the original sin that took place in the Garden of Eden, and He still uses our falls to get our attention. I admit that my attention is undivided now and if an example must be drawn upon, please use my negative experience to do better.
My pride cost an innocent man his life. What will pride cost you?
(ED. NOTE: The author, of Court House, a former professional soccer player, is serving five-and-a-half years in state prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in October 2009. Matt’s blogs have been read by over 100,000 people in every state, 114 countries, and in 67 different languages. www.themattmaherstory. .com)