My husband's great uncle was killed in World War I. The wheel horses were King horses, and the rest belonged to area farmers.
"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5 (NIV)
"You hold Turk while I saddle Ike."
Dennis had taken me home to meet his parents. But mostly to gain horse approval. And the approval of saddle club members.
I rode a grade school friend's horse once. Nearly scraped off half my back as it galloped into the barn.
Anyway, I grasped the end of the reins. Turk happily chomped the grass. And when he "reached the end of his rope," he simply gave a mighty tug of the head and jerked me along behind him. Across the friends' backyard. Over and over.
Chomp. Chomp. Jerk.
Chomp. Chomp. Jerk.
Until the saddle horn caught on the clothesline. He jumped. And both posts collapsed inward, upending their cement "roots."
Good first impression.
Uncontrolled strength. Unharnessed power.
Turk knew his master. And he knew not me.
Dennis and Turk.
Dennis tried me out on Lady. She limped down the road and tried to bite my toes. When we turned back toward the barn, she broke into a run while I, wild-eyed, grabbed the saddle horn as if it were my last bag of M&M's.
Years later, I came across this verse:
"But let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." 1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)
So I set out to implement those characteristics in my life.
By not talking.
At the time, I transcribed reports for Heidi, a rehabilitation nurse. She would share things that were going on in her life, and I would listen. In silence. Months later she finally asked me what I was hiding. She even said her thoughts turned to the Mafia. I think she was serious.
My efforts did not produce the quality.
Because I couldn't.
And, of course, my self-control only evidenced itself with acquaintances anyway.
At home? Another story.
Uncontrolled tongue. Unharnessed emotions
I knew my Master. But I took the reins.
The Greek for "gentle" in both verses is prays. Also translated "meek."
A strong word.
A tamed animal.
A broken colt.
Power under control.
A fruit of the spirit.
Gentleness, or meekness, speaks of training and learning to handle heavy loads in the lightest way. A surrender to the master's control.
And a quiet spirit does not necessarily mean a quiet personality. It does not mean silence.
A gentle and quiet spirit is unruffled. Free from frenzy. But it can be angry at the right time at the right person in the right way for the right length of time.
Stability in stress.
Courage in crisis.
Tranquility in turbulence.
Peace in the preposterous.
Impossible on my own.
A gentle and quiet spirit says, "God, I give you the reins in this situation. I accept this in your sovereignty because you want to make me more like Jesus through it. I willingly accept the yoke. I embrace it. And I embrace you as you embrace me."
Controlled by the Spirit.
Harnessed to Jesus.
Wendy and me. Dennis' parents bought her for me. After I'd learned a little.
NOTE: This post is part of the Blog Carnival on GENTLENESS . For more thoughts, visit One Word at a Time.
Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King