Humility is strong–not bold; quiet–not speechless; sure–not arrogant.
Saturday was the big day. Charlie was finally turning seven years old. Anticipation increased as each day drew him nearer to that wonderful age. He would finally be able to help his dad with the farm work and do big-boy jobs, like milking the cows, branding the calves, building fences (with some help of course). He just knew that he would grow up to be big and strong like his dad.
Charlie had spent hours watching his dad chop firewood, work on cars, plow fields, bail hay, and all the other things that real men do. Just the thought of actually being able to help with all this made him squirm in excitement.
Saturday came and went. Charlie was finally seven. His parents had assured him that he would be out on the farm working with his father early Monday morning. He could hardly wait. After Sunday church, Charlie spent most of the day getting ready for the next morning. He knew exactly which “dirty-play” clothes he was going to wear, and his cowboy boots were right next to his bed. He was ready.
The sun hadn’t even come up when his mom woke him up for breakfast. He eagerly got out of bed, put on his clothes and boots, and headed downstairs to begin this new part of his life.
After eating his eggs, bacon, and biscuits, his dad took him out to the barnyard to show him how to milk the cows. Next came feeding the chickens and goats. Then chopping up some firewood (the heavy axe was awkward in Charlie’s seven-year-old arms). The day went on and so did the work.
Charlie had had just about all his little body could handle for his first day’s work, but his dad had some more to do. Determined not to disappoint his dad, Charlie pressed on. The time came to yoke up the work horse to the plow and prepare the fields. His dad allowed Charlie to walk along beside him as they went up and down, row by row.
As they plowed, Charlie began talking about what he and the others had discussed in Sunday school the previous morning.
“Our teacher is teaching us about the beatitudes, and she gave us some homework for next week. We’re supposed to think of an example of meekness.”
“Now that sounds like a good thing for you to do,” his dad replied. “What do you think so far?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t really understand what it means to be meek. She tried to explain it, but I didn’t get it.”
“Well, son, look right in front of you. This horse is a great example of meekness. He used to be a wild horse. He wouldn’t think twice about trampling anyone who got near to him. But after a while, I was able to tame him, bring him under control. Now he is even stronger than he was before. If he wanted to, he could trample me right now, and I’m no match for his strength. But I know he is not going to because he has become tame. He’s gentle enough for you to pet and feed. He’s extremely powerful, but his power is under control. That’s what it means to be meek. Does that help explain it for you?”
“Wow, dad. Thanks a lot. I think I know what I’m going to tell my teacher next Sunday.”
The rest of the week was spent doing the same kind of chores around the farm. Charlie could feel his seven-year-old muscles getting stronger already.
The next Sunday rolled around, and as Charlie was sitting in Sunday school, his teacher asked the class for the results of their assignment. Charlie’s was the first hand to shoot up.
“Yes, Charlie. You look eager to share with us. What did you come up with for an example of meekness?”
Charlie looked proud and confident as he answered, “My dad.”