Words That Guide Me
“He has told you, oh mortal, what is good; and what does the
Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
This verse from the Old Testament prophet Micah has been the guiding principle of how I live my life. Do I always succeed? Nope. Do I daily use this as a guide for how I treat others and conduct myself? Yes!
I Love Kindergarten
At least half of my adult life has been spent in the care and feeding of children. Well, not necessarily feeding in the nutritional sense, but definitely in the feeding of their emotional well being. Children, en masse, are a fascinating army of humanity.
Without a doubt one of my favorite moments in one of my favorite jobs was monitoring kindergarten students during recess. I loved observing the behavior of children, the social dynamic and the inevitable heirarchy that develops in a herd of five and six year olds turned loose to be themselves. Generally I found behavior fell into some common categories.
“That’s not fair” or “They won’t let me have a turn” often indicated an imbalance of power was occurring somewhere on the playground. The outspoken, strong personalities trying to assert their will in order to dictate the rules and who could participate. Injustice is often the result of an imbalance of power whether it be on a playground or in a courtroom. Human nature, if not carefully guided, can turn ugly very quickly. My responsibility in these situations was to talk to the parties involved, ask appropriate questions and guide them to make a decision that was fair in that circumstance. I was teaching justice and kindness.
Holding children’s lives and minds in the palm of ones hand is a daunting responsibility.
In today’s world the injustices seem overwhelming. Because of the internet and other forms of technology, our lives have permanently changed; we see more and know more than ever before. Communication and interpersonal relationships can all be conducted through machines which removes much of the human connection. It is easy to forget that the person on the other side has real feelings; we have no idea what that person is dealing with and thus feel empowered to say whatever feels right in that moment without any sense of consequence to the other person. The irony, for me is, the internet is also how I communicate a message of kindness, justice and love. I don’t want this tool to go away. I want the people using it to be transformed by love.
In the United States, it feels as though any time the word justice is mentioned, it is a cause that uses the painful plight of the poor and under-served as a tool to gain political power. Both sides talk a good game, but when the rubber meets the road, they are in it for themselves and the power they so desperately want to hold on to. There is no humility. Both sides dig their heels in and nothing happens. Around election time each party tells their followers what they want to hear then, once elected, go back to doing business as they see fit.
I am no rocket scientist, but I have thought of solutions to many of our nation’s issues that rely on a cooperative of private initiatives and government support. The problem is, any solution that takes power from the politicians or money out of someone’s pocket, or heaven forbid, both, will never be implemented.
In the end we all loose.
The prophet Micah was writing to a similar societal situation of greed, dishonesty, and corruption which led to a compromised legal system, a disdain for the poor and unethical business practices. Living as this one verse teaches would solves all those problems.
Walk humbly with your God – Walking humbly with God means that we surrender the power to him and trust that He and He alone knows what is best. Jesus, while on earth, walked humbly with God. It is hard for us to wrap our brains around the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh and yet he yielded power and authority to God the Father. I don’t have to understand to believe and I’ve experienced this truth in my own life.
By relinquishing this need for power, we become free to live a life that is pleasing to God and makes a positive change in the world. And really, isn’t that all anyone can ask for? When it is time to leave this earth, I want to know that I did my best to live justly, humbly and always with kindness.
Until tomorrow ponder these three things in your own life.
Leave a Reply