Really Living

I want to share with you a new perspective from an old Psalm, in particular Psalm 63. David wrote this while he was out in the Judean wilderness.  Was he a teenager watching his father’s sheep or was he a young buck running from King Saul or later, a bewildered father running from his own son Absolam?  Where and when it was written I may not know but it speak to me.  So come with me to my courtyard.  Hop aboard my prayer swing and “sing” with me this Psalm using Pastor Eugene Peterson’s voice.

“God–you’re my God!  I can’t get enough of You!  I’ve worked up such a hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts.  So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in Your strength and glory.  In Your generous love I am really living, living at last!  My lips brim praises like fountains.  I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to You.”

“I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;  I smack my lips.  It’s time to shout praises! If I’m sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful reflection.  Because You always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play.  I hold on to You for dear life, and You hold me steady as a post.”  

At night when I can’t sleep is my special time to spend with my Daddy-God in grateful reflection.  I can recall the good times when He was here for me, the bad times when I needed to learn a lesson or two, and reflect on the beautiful tomorrows we will have together.  This is really living!

Each morning when I drink in God’s strength and glory my heart overflows.  I want to celebrate the goodness of a God who cares about me and what is happening in my life.  I praise God every time I take a breath.  This is so personal as I have had pneumonia and asthma at various times in my life when breathing became almost impossible.  I know what it feels like to not to be able to breath.  So yes, for breath alone, I rejoice.  I wave my arms as banners to His glory. As an expressive individual, waving my hands in the air is as natural to me as breathing.  This is really living.

As to eating my fill of prime rib and gravy, throw in some buttered mashed potatoes and you have America’s favorite comfort food.  If you’re not a meat eater, what food makes you smack your lips?  Fresh strawberries the size of golf balls? A slice of homemade toast slathered with blackberry jam?  Does the very thought cause you to shout praises?  It should.  All those tiny, teeny tastebuds tingling on your tongue are singing praises, so why not you?

I love being free to run and play.  As a child, I remember running across fields of waist high grass;  I remember rolling in a pile of leaves on my folks lawn;  I remember playing hide-n seek in the boulevard in the moonlight on hot summer nights.  I can spend a few moments remembering and knowing one day, I will enjoy these pleasures again.

As an adult, especially a graying one, I’m fearful of running.  What if I fall and can’t get up?  What if I twist my ankle?  What if I break my leg?  Fortunately I have the next part of the verse for support.  “I hang onto You for dear life!  You hold me steady.” As a kid I was surefooted like a mountain goat.  I could bounce from rock to rock along the North Atlantic seacoast and not be afraid.  For a moment I can remember and enjoy and know God’s promise takes me well beyond my hopping, skipping, and jumping memories of childhood.

So how about you?  Are you still living in your mid-hopping, skipping and jumping days?  Or are you like me, enjoying the experiences both in the memory and in the promises of tomorrow?  Psalm 63, like so many of God’s promises, speaks to my yesterdays, my todays and my tomorrows.  I call it REALLY LIVING!

“Yes, Lord, hold me steady–solid like a rock–from here to eternity–so I can really live every day of my life.”  Amen

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