Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moral courage

The Lord speaks to Jonah a second time now that he is back on dry land, repeating his mission. He is to go to Nineveh, a great city, so vast one need's three days to cross it on foot. It was the capital of Assyria. The Assyrians were great warriors who brought back many spoils and gathered a great library.  They were cruel and vicious with those they conquered. Did you ever wonder why Jonah chose to disobey God in the first place? It appears that, in his mind, these people did not deserve to be spared but should be punished for what they had done.  As we keep up with the news it seems that there are Nineveh-like places and people active in the world today. Are you guarding your thought not to judge and condemn them? Evil is not a person, a place or a thing. We pray to see evil overcome but we love all mankind.

Two earlier prophets foretold the destruction of the city before Jonah arrived, announcing that it would occur in 40 days. The Ninevites heeded this warning, from the king to the peasants and they began to fast and repent. It appears this was genuine. Jonah was spared an everlasting punishment and he in turn led the people of Nineveh to repent, change their thoughts and their ways, so that they were spared.

I am continuing to read through Education at the Principia, a collection of talks given by Mary Kimball Morgan. In one of them she writes: "What body of young people are today so prepared to respond to the challenge thrown out before them for true leadership as those who have been given a basis for true thinking? We know that thought in accordance with Principle will accomplish all that can be accomplished for the peace of the world. (Education at the Principia p.182)

This section of the Lesson incudes this citation: "Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong and to porclaim the right". It takes moral courage to reach out to those who don't seem to want or value your words. The dictionary defines courage as the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or challenges with self-possession, confidence, and resolution: bravery.

Jonah might have needed moral courage to face a people who were known to dismember those who opposed them. We need moral courage to face the challenges that come up in our day at home, at school, at work, out and about doing errands, serving in the reading room. I don't often look for courage within myself as my study of Christian Science has helped me find confidence and poise but I will cultivate and appreciate that quality today.

1 comment:

Colin said...

I was thinking about the Ninevehs of today and it occurred to me that in addition to moral courage, another important quality is compassion. For example, how many of us are willing to pray for Iran? - not pray ABOUT Iran, but pray FOR Iran to realize that they too are God's worthy people that can establish and achieve a right sense of their God-given identity. I think I've been a bit of a Jonah in this respect.