Friday, October 27, 2006
How To Start The Day - w/ Psalm 19
I finished reading Psalm 19 this morning, and the thought struck me, "This is the perfect Psalm to recite as you walk out the door to your car, or as your car pulls out of the garage down the driveway, on your way to work."
It starts out, "The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky above proclaims his handiwork." What a way to start your day - with worship. So here you are, pulling onto the street, driving to work and you've glanced at the sky, to see what kind of day it is going to be, and instead of predicting how the day is going to go based on the weather, you anticipate the day based on the Creator.
Then in verse seven, midpoint of the song, the psalmist writes, "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul." As a Christian, we never think of the Law as perfectly refreshing, we categorize it as a burden, as something to be freed from. Yet Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the Law, but to complete it. The Law of the LORD is meant to bring joy to our heart, to bring people together in right relationships. And at work, or school, or whereever you spend the bulk of your day, everybody needs wisdom on how to deal with difficult (aka jerks, meanies, snobs, etc) people.
Near the end of this poem we read, "Who can discern His errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults." Whoa..... how about that for a prayer at the beginning of the day, as you pull into the parking lot of work. It takes two to tango, and if there is someone you perceive at work who is annoying, is there anything you do to contribute to that evaluation? My friend Ken Clark asked me once what his blindspots were. I turned around and asked him about mine. You ought to find out what yours are. A good person to ask is the one who annoys you. Or not...
So the psalm ends with these beautiful, famous, inspiring, lifegiving words: "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." I'll never forget the most recent time when I heard someone utter this verse. Chris Kuntz was leading our singing on Sunday morning, and as he was getting ready to start the first song, he shared this verse with everyone, it was more like a prayer that came from his soul. It struck me as the completely right thing to say, and the words that I wanted to be beating in my heart - not just every Sunday when I preach, but all the other days when my lifestyle does the preaching.
Note that the last word is "redeemer"; very significant. For all the ugly words that come out of my mouth, and all the meditations that rot in my heart, God can redeem the bad situations that result from my "hidden faults". He can bring beauty from ashes, strength from fear (Crystal Lewis song). He can't help you take the words back, but he can help you make things right. Hence our need for the law/rule/command/direction/instruction/guidance/oversight of God everyday.
The first person to memorize this Psalm and recite it to me on a Sunday, I'll take them out to Texas Roadhouse, my treat!