Friday, September 22, 2017

Good For The Soul

Maybe you, like me, have stood at the back of the store staring at the latest version of HDTV. The detail and color are riveting. Fascinating. And I wonder if maybe I've fallen into an Alice in Wonderland world where everything is sharper, clearer, faster than real life?

Although I'm very content to be inside (my favorite childhood summer was spent reading 70-odd books and listening to Tchaikovsky), I made my way outdoors this afternoon and at one point I heard myself say, "This is very good for my soul."

And it was then that I realized I was living in high definition--it's what so many people want and don't have. It's why resolution and megapixels appeal to us. We need, we want, to experience life. But life is so hard. We want the GREAT parts of life, the FUN parts, the YUMMY, GORGEOUS, SPECTACULAR parts of life without the mundane, sad, difficult, not-so-great parts of life. We don't want to go to the same job, wear the same clothes, eat the same food, pay the same bills (or struggle to pay the same bills). We don't want to listen to children whine, wash dishes, put (blank) away, fold laundry, mow the yard, fix the plumbing, get on the same bus, work with that difficult person.... need I go on?

And yet, as I felt the weight of apples from the tree drop in my picking bag and watched the chickens at work below, there was a sense of satisfaction. There was joy in doing what needed to be done; in seeing and enjoying the world at work. When dust blew in my eyes as I charged over uneven blades of grass and cars whizzed by on the highway, I said, "This is good."

I have noticed in the quiet, mundane, difficult, and trying moments of life, I pray. I think of others. I am aware of my need and sin and forgiveness; of grace, mercy and justice. I hear my thoughts and my heart speaks. God listens, knows, and reveals. When I'm not writing or planning or being entertained, there is a moment to whisper, "This is good for my soul."

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness  for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23 ESV)

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