Psalm 62 (Psalm on the Trail)

Wintergreen Psalm 62:1

 

For God alone I wait in silence; from God comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1

Sometimes, God, I am too quick to run off and talk to others about what’s on my mind before I talk to you.  Maybe I want someone else’s wisdom because I think you can speak through them better than if you speak directly to my own heart.  I might hear you wrong.  Or maybe I just  need to hear others’ approval that my next steps are on a good path.  Or then again maybe I just want to hear myself talk, because listening  to you in prayer is really hard.   And, God, you can be so maddeningly silent and your guidance can be so subtle at times that it demands close attention.  Talking to people is easier.

This morning, with many things on my mind, and lots of people I want to talk to about my stuff, I open to this psalm and what are the first words I read?  “For God alone I wait in silence.”  Okay, is this  a not-so-subtle hint after all?  You want me to listen to you before I go off gathering the opinions of others?  This time I must admit that you are calling me to sit in the morning’s quiet, to honor that verse with my restless waiting, to refrain from chattering to you, to simply sit still in your healing  presence.  My only speaking is breathing.  My only action is waiting.  And even though I don’t expect to “hear” you or to receive any pearls of wisdom for today’s puzzles, I once again feel that these twenty minutes of silence are creating open space where my actions this day are more apt to be a response—a response that  originates from your steadfast love, not from my transient ego needs.  As I sink into silent waiting, I hope you are releasing me from the rush into things, guiding me towards a peace that passes understanding.  Perhaps today  I can avoid blundering my way into a place that really needs a quiet pause and calm attention—not aimless talk.  Perhaps you and I in the long run will get more of what is truly valuable done. 

Suggestions:

1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  Set aside ten or five or even two minutes to sit still and simply notice your breathing, breathing God’s love in and out.

2. Or read all of Psalm 62 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse is from Psalm 63:3-4.

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 http://elainedent.net or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

Comments

  1. I loved this. If I could just maybe add that there’s another alternative to either running to your friends for answers too quickly, or to listening quietly on your own. And that’s having friends who understand and will sit quietly listening with you. Sometimes (imperfectly) that’s what Peter, James, and John were for Jesus.

    • Yes, you are right and I love how you suggested that’s what Peter, James and John were. It’s a balancing act, listening to others and listening to our feeble understanding of God in one’s deepest self. But it’s a balancing act that is necessary. Thanks for pointing it out. The day I wrote it, I was ready to charge off and talk. Too often my drive to consult with others is not so much for wisdom as approval-seeking.

    • Some of us have such anxious minds that we sometimes need to hear a word of wisdom, and then those minds can settle down to be silent and listen in the silence…

    • You both teach me a lot! So I’m thinking (slightly off topic) that when a friend comes to us for advice, we would do well, before jumping in with our great wisdom telling them what to do, to listen to discern where that person is at in the process to know whether they need an answer, or whether the answer is simply to come along side to encourage their listening.

    • Howard McCrory, You’d appreciate this post.

    • Judy, that’s true too. Chuck, my ego gets in the way and I think have to have an answer right away. My Shalem training and coaching training says ask questions. Sometimes we can respond with reframing what they are saying to help them see it in a different light. And sometime, well, most of the time it is is good for me to offer a few minutes of silence before I respond so I can do some praying. Sadly, I get too impatient to do that. A cutting edge for growth in my pastoral care.
      .