On board one of my tugboats I had a man tell me once that I have had enough experiences for three lifetimes! Of course, I ate up that recognition, especially when constantly made to feel like I was the lesser early in life.
The Character of a person I have always felt was worth far more than earthly accomplishments, and yes, you can have both, but most people get “puffed up” in ego by their status in the world with few remaining humble enough in realizing that most of their personal gains are but a gift from God, and not of themselves!
You will remember that Jesus told Pilot that all the authority he was given on earth, was by his Father who was in heaven. With that, Pilot attempted to wash his hands of the Lord’s condemnation by men!
I have known a few men who remained humble, despite their outstanding success in the world, one was a cousin of mine who had been a paratrooper during World War Two. He understood the value of a man’s character despite his station in life.
But then we will always have the ones who I call the “smoke blowers”; these type people create an illusion of grandeur while projecting their importance onto others. This is not to say that they have not had their successes and experiences in life, only that they tend to be creative in over-dramatizing themselves, often at the expense of others. This is what allot of politicians do, they enhance their importance and sometimes will even fabricate stories, thus drawing more attention to themselves.
Like most people who have known some degree of struggle within their lives, I find these types of people repulsive. I had once met a man who served in the infantry during the First World War (The great War) in France under General Black Jack Pershing; I was humbled and amazed at what was most important to him: wool blankets which he pointed to on our museum ship, he got very excited exclaiming how wonderful it was to have a wool blanket while in the trenches of WW I, in keeping warm from the snow and rain, and then he added, if you had two blankets; boy you were in heaven!
I then realized just how spoiled our society has become to those who had lived 100 years ago! The character of these old timers often embraced the very basics of life’s necessities, as if they were of a great prize, which was very sobering to me!
One thing which remains consistent to me, is that the one who struggles in life, seems to develop a greater character then people who have simply been given earthly wealth and status. And oftentimes people who increase their prominence in the world tend to forget either wear they came from and will often look down upon others, who may have overcome even greater obstacles within their lives!
This goes far beyond race, gender, beliefs, or place of origin; rather I am speaking about the character of the individual soul, the merit of an individual and what they do with what they have been given yet overcome. Jesus Christ, (my Lord) exemplifies to perfection the Supreme character of what a man or women should actually be; he was God incarnate yet was humble enough to wash the dirt from others feet!
This should be the nature exemplified in all of us who claim his Glorious name; yet “blowing smoke” in the face of others we consider as “lesser” should be shameful to us who have been given so very much in being redeemed.