Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Stilled and Quieted Soul

If I had to choose a favorite Psalm, or at least one that I have loved timelessly, it would be Psalm 131.

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high;I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Somehow the image of a young child, just weaned, yet still carressed by her mother is such a clear picture to me of perfect stillness. How does a weaned child peacefully understand a mother withholding all that used to sustain? How does a child sit in her mother's lap in calm and quiet while comprehending that her former source of sustenance is no more?

It must be that the first teetering lesson of trust has been learned. The young child must trust that her mother will provide, even though the former source of provision and nourishment is withheld.

Oh, that I would maintain the same sense of trust! I so often want the provisions of yesterday to be the sustaining provisions of today. And yet, as the weaned child at its mother's breast, I must be still. I must be taught to trust that the provision and mercy of God is new for every morning. I must learn that if I try to take yesterday's fulfillment into the future with me, I will never grow strong.

Maybe I am ready for rice cereal.