Friday, April 29, 2016

The Teachings of Jesus No. 3

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

There it is plain and clear: the earth ultimately belongs to the meek. Which doesn’t mean the pushover, or the timid, or the spineless; the coward or the weak-kneed. Jesus cared about those frightened souls but here he’s talking about the humble, the tolerant, the thoughtful; about people who think before they act; people with a gentle spirit and a kind heart; people of intellect, soul, and substance. The earth is theirs. They know how to care for it, how to cherish and appreciate it, and how to live responsibly in it. Carl Sandburg, the remarkable poet, philosopher and biographer of Abraham Lincoln, described the 16th president in these words: “Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, who is hard as a rock and soft as a drifting fog, who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect.” That’s the meekness Jesus was talking about. This is dangerous living, as we know from Lincoln. It is living that threatens the bullies of life, the rude and the cruel, the coldly arrogant who believe everything is theirs for the taking. Not so. The earth is not theirs. It belongs to the meek. In the end the earth is not shaped by demigods and despots, by the crude and the loathsome, or the fanatics of this belief or that. The real influence in the earth comes from the courageous and the stalwart; from the thinker with a conscience oak strong and from the loving with hearts as durable as brick walls. Do not underestimate the meek. Ultimately, planet Earth is theirs. ~ TM

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