English Standard Version (ESV)
Some officials like their presence to be announced far ahead of time, so that the town can be ready to receive them when they arrive. In olden days, this may have meant sending a rider ahead of time, or even just having someone ride along just before the official announcing his arrival. As times advanced, this changed shape, but there are still many people today who like a grand reception.
When Nehemiah shows up in Jerusalem, he goes out on an unannounced inspection of the walls. He doesn't expect any deference or reception -- he has a job to do, and he shows up and does it, filled with humility and purpose. It reminds me of stories I hear of the current Pope, who tends to just show up places, surprising people and irritating those tasked with looking out for his security!
As we go about our lives, let us do so with humility and purpose. When we expect to be treated like royalty, it changes something in our hearts, disappointing us if people don't treat us right. When we show up expecting nothing but to work hard and serve others, we emulate a servant's heart, and we are able to serve others as Christ did, fulfilling our purpose and enriching the community around us.