For some years I have assumed that far from inheriting the earth, the meek will be trampled underfoot. I am beginning to wonder whether I am mistaken.
Blessed are the meek:for they shall inherit the earth.
The phrase always struck me as peculiarly stupid, even if the sentiment itself and the Sermon are beautiful.
My wife is meek. Well, usually. Almost always actually. She is the sort of irritating little soul who always lets people push in front of her in a queue. Who assumes the land is full of milk and honey and that most people around here are not vicious thugs but jolly nice chaps. If she can’t inherit her place at the traffic lights, what hope has she for the wider world?
And yet it has struck me very forcibly recently that you can “inherit the earth”, in a sense, by meekness. Or by being relaxed and laid back.
Who cares about the queue at the PC World repair desk? Or the fact that one old biddy and one rather ferocious middle aged woman jumped the queue right in front of your nose?
Quite contrary to my usual impatience and sense of frustration, I very deliberately decided to smile through the incident. I didn’t go so far as to say nothing but I politely said that actually I had been waiting an hour, but that the agressive lady was welcome to my place if she felt the need.
I had already told the old biddy to go ahead since (a) she was an old biddy and (b) I thought she was going to be quick. She wasn’t!
But here is the point. I felt calm, relaxed, able to smile. My heart rate did not rise. I did not become aggressive or shout at the shop assistants.
I felt good. It was a bright sunny morning and I had enjoyed my walk to the shop. I enjoyed the walk back too.
I have spent some time recently doing my best to change my life. Not outwardly but inwardly.
Not I fear out of any sense of altruism, but because it makes me feel better. To do new things, to see life in a different light. To act out of character. To re-wire my tired and often glum brain.
And it seems to be working so far. Perhaps my behaviour has been calm and unruffled rather than meek. But I reckon the calm may actually inherit the earth.
A damascene conversion perhaps. A sudden, unshakeable conviction that meekness is one of the “doors of perception”.