Sunday, November 18, 2007

Psalm 6

I am slowly writing a theo-centric commentary on the Psalms. Here is an example.

Psalm 6 – Afraid that God is angry, David turns to God anyway

1. David believes that God may be angry with him, but he comes to God anyway. He is afraid of God’s discipline.
2. He also knows that God is merciful, especially toward the weak and those who need healing.
3. He urgently asks God how long his situation of suffering will last.
4. God is able to save and deliver him because of God’s unfailing love.
5. He sees God as open to reason, arguing that if God lets him die, God will be less praised, for who praises God in the world of the dead?
6. He tells God exactly how he feels.
7. He reminds God of his sorrow and of his enemies.
8. He is confident that God has heard his cry for help.
9. The Lord has heard his plea for mercy and welcomes his prayer.
10. David has faith that his “enemies” (internal ones such as fear, guilt, and pain and external ones, such as attacks and criticism from outsiders) will be utterly defeated.

Just and merciful God, we come to you threatened by your holiness (because we are not holy) and afraid of your justice (because we fail to act justly). Yet we have no one else to turn to. We so need your mercy, healing, and deliverance. God, we know that you love us with unfailing love and that you hear and welcome our prayers. Please forgive us, Lord, and defeat all our enemies, especially the ones in our heads and hearts. Amen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Daily Counsel

Most of my problems in life have come from poor self-management, from a lack of balance, and from desires out of control. Over the years, I have become somewhat healthier, mentally, physically, and spiritually, by keeping, as best I can, the following counsel:
*Detach from all outcomes, from having to have it a certain way. Relax and let God's will be done. completely surrender to God. Let go of any fear or worry. All will be well.
*Give up the demand for clarity, for everything to make sense, to meet your own criteria of what is acceptable or right. Be faithful to what you know and do good work anyway, even if you can't see the larger picture.
*Detach from judgment, evaluation, and criticism of others or yourself. If there is a problem, God will take care of it. Stop trying to manage the universe.
*Don't complain and don't explain. Trust God to work things out if they need to change. Self-defense is unnecessary and counter-productive.
*Let it be. Accept what is, without judgment. God knows and God will act as needed.
*Take time for silence, breathing, meditation, and prayer. Wait in the presence of the Lord.
*Do not use food and drink, television or the computer, to fill inner emptiness or restlessness. Be filled with the Spirit (just ask) and rest in the Lord.
*Look, listen, and experience in silence. Breathe. Walk.
*Align yourself with God's fierce determination to put all things right, and find you place in this great work, however small a place that might be.
*Be thankful, and, as God gives the grace, let God's love flow through you to all living things.