141 Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.
144 Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live. [NIV]
Well, I managed to continue my Lenten discipline while in Germany… but the return trip managed to screw me up. I am now three days behind. Rather than attempt to catch up, I’m going to expedite the rest of the discipline by doing complete stanzas… starting tomorrow.
“Give me understanding that I may live.” I am still obsessing over the fact that there are people out there (to be more specific people that I know, not the hypothetical stranger) that not only are content to live a blind faith, but who actively reject any attempt to thoughtfully examine their beliefs. I know that I solidly live on the side of the bell curve that wants to have a clear mental picture of how things work and why things are the way they are. The other side of the bell curve baffles me. How can anyone show absolutely no interest trying to understand anything about the world around them.
I cheated slightly above. I cited only half of the verse. That’s the part that jumped out at me this morning. So let me step back a tad and take a look at the entire verse. The understanding in question is not just an general understanding about the world. It specifically refers to the righteousness of God’s statutes. It does not invite us to consider whether or not God’s laws are or are not good—it states this as a matter of fact. It also does not ask for personal wisdom to be able to decipher why the laws are good. It asks God to give us the understanding directly. This is a hard pill for me to swallow. It requires that some of the lessons we must learn come from outside ourselves, not from within our minds. It requires that we yield some of our ego to be open to receiving an understanding of God’s will on his terms, not ours.
As I come into the final days of this Lenten daily discipline and reflect on the journey, I find that this has been a recurring theme through many of my posts. I read the psalm. I think to myself, “what the hell am I going to do with this?” I pick a verse or two (or part of one) that jumps out at me. I start writing. And, voila, what comes out is a total surprise. Today is no exception. Read today’s post again, you can see the change of focus occurring. The first paragraph was me. The second paragraph was a response that I did not plan when I started writing. This paragraph is the recognition of that fact… [mind blown = mine].