What Use Is Strength? (Sun Tzu 4:5) (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 4:7; Matthew 5:5)

What use is strength? To lift some hair
Or piece of lint from clothing there?
To pick a leaf up off the lawn
When summer days are long since gone?

When I was just a growing boy
When bored I was with Tinker-Toys
I turned to lifting weights for strength
(Then gave that up as well, at length).

In warfare, strength is vital force,
For “smashing” is the point of course;
Young men and women strut their stuff,
Augmented with their tools – they’re tough.

Some signs of strength absurd would be
As markers of amount we see
(Like picking fluff up ’neath the bed –
We’d not discern the strong, Tzu said).

We must look elsewhere for the marks
Of strength – that’s where our wisdom starts –
Like fear of God, as Psalmist said,
“Start there – to wisdom you’ll be led”.

But then, if we’re to get Sun Tzu,
We need to get the “meek” part too;
Word-meanings change as years go by,
“Meek’s” not “a wimp-ish sort of guy”.

Meek, at the time when Shakespeare wrote,
Meant strength-a-plenty in a bloke,
But kept controlled, with wisdom used –
Now that is strength, like in Sun Tzu.

For all this talk of sight, and sound,
And strength, Tzu said that we might ground
Our comprehension of a win
In subtlety – to look within.

He says, use common sense here, please,
A win in battle based there, frees
Us from a needless use of force –
Upon their weakness base your course.

For strength on strength’s a needless waste;
With strength on weakness we make haste
To crush all hope of winning fight
In other team – best use of might.