Psalm 50 (Psalms on the Trail)

psalm 50:11

“I know every bird of the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. ” Psalm 50:11

More than a decade ago I participated in a clergy program introducing us to contemplative prayer and leadership.  Later in the week there was introduction to our 36 hours of silence, that’s right—no talking, a first for many of us.  What does one do with all that silence?  One of the leaders, Gerry May, encouraged us to explore the many acres of fields, woods and trails and simply to observe and play in God’s creation as if we were children again.  Ever since then his words have been my guide for Sabbath walking adventures.  Here’s a photo from the canal trail.  Looking at it with a child’s eyes, what do you notice?  What delights you?  What questions would you ask as a child that you as an adult would not think of? Does anything make you nervous? What would you like to see better? What would you like to do next?   In the second Genesis account of creation, God brought the creatures to the human to see what he would name them.  Surely God is tickled when we take time and notice what God has made.  And didn’t Jesus invite us to enter God’s realm like a little child?  So go for a walk today with child eyes and see what happens.  Share it with us if you like. And today marks 1/3 way through the book of Psalms!


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  So go for a walk today with child eyes and see what happens.

2. Or read all of Psalm 50 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse. (You will find that what I am talking about today has little to do with this psalm.) Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse:  Psalm 51: 10

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog


  1. Elaine Dent, I remember walking in those woods and fields, drenched in sweat and full of delight. On two occasions, I almost tripped over sleeping fawns.

  2. For some reason, this photo brought tears to my eyes…I shall be pondering that response…

  3. Jean N. Kuebler: And I remember rescuing a turned over turtle, pouring water over it, and putting some water in a leaf in case it was madly thirsty after the ordeal. There was another turtle waiting for it. I hope they went off happily together…

    • Since that time, turtles have kept crossing my playing path, reminding me to slow down, and probably influencing my trail name, “Humming Turtle.”

  4. I thought it was just some leaves in the water, but it’s hundreds of tadpoles. Had to look closely and not rush by.

  5. The light sparkling and dancing on the water caught my eye. What a delight that must have been to have 36 hours of silence and contemplation and a whole lot of the natural world in which to experience it. Wow!

    • The Shalem Institute program for clergy was so formative early in my ministry. And I love the little ripples around the goslings and my child asks: how did they learn to swim?.

  6. A Royal Albatross. It has a 9ft wingspan. On its first flight it takes off from its nest at Taiaroa Head, about 25 km from my house, and flies Eastward. It will return a couple of years later from the West, having flown around the world. It is born knowing how to do this, which causes my brain to tie itself in knots trying to understand how.

  7. I have no photos to share and I find myself asking why. And the answer is that I need to spend more time out there noticing and wondering and playing.

  8. This is an hour after the picture of the “ducks” at Great Falls. Thought you might want to have a notion of the intrepid traveler and her very focused sidekick.

  9. I just love the picture with Mama and her goslings.