Walking Humbly

We have all been deeply saddened by the demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. We witnessed how Britain and the world said a final farewell to her.  I am sure you will never forget this historic funeral amidst scenes of matchless pageantry with thousands of people in the streets of London. I note the 22 – mile procession to her final rest and I was impressed by what the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby told hundreds of world leaders who gathered at Westminster Abbey : ‘ People of loving service are rare in any walk of lifeLeaders of loving service are still rarer’.  

 It is with this memorable event that I share with you this article entitled: ‘Walking Humbly’. Have you ever had the experience of hearing or reading something that, even though you have encountered it countless times before, all of a sudden speaks to you in a whole new way? A learned friend spoke to me about a personal experience. He had such an experience a few weeks ago as he sat in church listening to words that were written some 2,600 years ago.  The reading was from the Book of Micah, a book of the Hebrew Scriptures, that contains these words, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.

 Walking humbly was not something that most of us valued or aspired to when we were young.  In fact, one friend explained to me the way he walked was just the opposite.  When he was young, he felt then that he knew all of the answers, now however, he has as many questions as he have answers. This makes me think of a quote from the twentieth century monk and author Thomas Merton, “Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.”  My friend even stated that his youthful pride in thinking he knew it all was, in retrospect, quite artificial, and was in reality a symptom of his youthful insecurity. 

Reflecting on Merton’s quote, I have come to realize that the people in my life who I know to be most real and authentic are also humble people.  These are the people I admire most and want to learn from.  They walk humbly, and interestingly enough, although I don’t think it is a coincidence, they are also people who love mercy and act justly, just as Micah directed us to do so many years ago. 

One of my other favourite quotes about humility comes from C.S. Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”  Humility means not needing to be the centre of attention, not insisting on your own way, not needing to get recognition for a good deed done, and not needing to compare oneself to anyone else. 

 Another friend recently returned from a ten day trip to the land where the prophet Micah wrote his words about the importance of acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly.  2,600 years after Micah wrote those words, the inhabitants of Israel and Palestine are clearly struggling to figure out exactly how to live out those words, just as others do in other parts of the world.  That, in itself, is cause for great humility, as each of us must discern in our own lives just exactly what it means to act justly, and love mercy, as we walk humbly with our God.

The Optimist

Posted by on Sep 30 2022. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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