Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meek matters

We managed to make it to church for the first time in October, what with all the sickness and travels we've had lately. Since both kids happily attend their own classes, it's much easier to focus on the songs and sermons, which in turn brings me so much closer to God and what He can say to me.

Today, though, I felt especially drawn to the sermon. See, we're going through the Beatitudes, and today was my week: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Although I'm often told that I'm not meek, or that people can't imagine it, or that it's all in my head, I listened to the pastor's ensuing description of meekness, including what was meant in context, nodding my head.

I thought, then, that the best part about this sermon would be that I would feel empowered, that someday my meekness (and the shame, disappointment, struggles, etc. that come with it) would be greatly rewarded. But I instead found myself caught on the corresponding passage from Psalms 37, which talks about the rewards of the meek, who struggle under the more powerful people of the world. It was this line that struck me: "Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil" (Psalms 37:8b). In fact, the admonition against fretting appears three times in this relatively short passage.

As a meek person, I get this. In fact, I found my mind wandering during the sermon back to the whole mom group fiasco, thinking again that I had botched it and wondering if there was any way, still, that I could make amends. I fret a lot. I fret about frettting. I think that for someone who is sensitive, feeling left out or unliked or socially awkward, this line of thinking begins naturally. I believe that's why God put it into this passage, because meek people need to realize not only that their true worth will be rewarded not according to the world but to heavenly standards, but that they therefore should not waste their time worrying, whether it follows naturally or not.

Then the pastor said something that eased, at least somewhat, my fretful mind: "Wherever you are, God will make things right." If you have botched something, God will make it right. If you have missed something, God will make it right. If you are meek, God will make it right.

I don't believe that God fixes things for us. But I do believe that He is always there for me to take my hand and lead me to the right place, the better place, the point where I need to be. And that, usually, is forward. Which is why I see fretting as so useless. The initial beatitude--"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth"--looks to the far future reward. 'Keep your eye on the prize,' as I sometimes say. But in the meantime, it keeps you looking forward, moving forward, and experiencing what life has to offer instead of spending too much time focused on what life did or didn't do. Sometimes I think that if I could only do that, it would be like inheriting the earth, one little joyful fret-less moment at a time.


feistywon said...

You need to realize that YOU did not botch anything. The handling of the momma's group fiasco was clumsy at worst but due to someone else's actions. I hope you believe that soon because we all miss you and enjoy your company when you come to events. No more fretting (at least about this)!

Anonymous said...

So glad I am not the only one who "frets about fretting"...LOL! I see a lot of what you describe in me, less all your good parts. This morning I fretted about the fact that I offended people after the greeting in church because immediatly after shaking hands I squirted purell all over me and the hubby. Was that rude??? And just like "Feisty" :-) said above, we miss you and would love to see you. ~Suz

Diana said...

Suz--I wonder the same thing! I try to be friendly and relax about it, but the thought of all those people shaking hands with all those other people, and then shaking mine: blech. I figure small children + flu season = automatic excuse.