Thursday, 2 June 2016

Psalms: God's keys for oneness/presence

Some of you might know by now that since I had the amazing opportunity to do a spiritual retreat in April (please consider doing this!), that I have become ever increasingly infatuated with the Psalms. My basic pattern is to read through the Psalms, and when I come across passages that speak to what it means to be an integrated human, capable of being truly present within themselves, their relationship to God and others, I write it down. That’s right, with a good ol’ fashioned pen. As I do this, strange things go on within me. I find myself engaging in similar wrestling to what I sense the Psalmists went through. Sometimes, huge, vaulted “atria” of self-space well up, and I sense the intra-connectivity within me develop. I then sense crushing disappointment when it becomes me-centred again, suddenly lacking in power. Then I realise that the perfect and outside “other” that is God himself is to be worshipped and honoured with all that is within me, and gives my self shape. Quite a roller-coaster I can assure you.

I’m up to Psalm 119 at the moment. The plan is to release here on the blog, and maybe elsewhere too, a Psalms reading plan. 

Firstly will come the easy part, entitled: PSALMS: GOD’S KEYS FOR PRESENCE. This will include an introduction and the suggested readings for each day.

Secondly will come the longer part, entitled: PSALMS: MEDITATING GOD’S KEYS FOR PRESENCE. This will include the simpler version as well as some meditative thoughts.

I’m pretty excited about it. Of course it would be tempting just to get going on it quickly and ditch the physical pen, but I also enjoy the discipline and the sense of positive mounting tension.

It is such a great place to meditate. Here’s something that literally just jumped into my brain while pondering Psalm 119: This morning I thought of a friend and his (sometimes) inauthentic and slightly-nervous laugh. My soul, unprepared, is not blessed or well equipped to handle such multiplicity of signals, which don’t fit in with the one-mindedness drive of the Psalms. Things to remember:
  • The good intentions and desire to connect
  • I’m equally if not more capable of such symptoms
  • The path to depth is sometimes through the shallow.

But what response? Do I partake? Do I isolate my friend in his nervous inauthentic moment? Or can I even take quick responsibility for causing an inauthentic moment in the bridging process, with a gracious smile for instance? I like the third option.

Please also check out my post on responsibility, humility and Jesus here, which I think is relevant to this discussion.

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