Trees By Streams of Water
Reflection on Psalm 1
It was suggested to me some time ago to read and pray through the Psalms. Taking one Psalm a day, I would read, journal and write out a prayer. Today I find myself drawn to those ancient songs again.
For example, Psalm 1 is an invitation to life, a life that consists of choices within the context of a larger story. We choose what paths we travel, paths that were here long before we got here.
We choose the kind of people we wish to be and we can choose whether to be grounded or ungrounded. Psalm 1 incorporates the image of a tree planted by streams of water to convey a life that is grounded.
This has all the spiritual and environmental overtones it should to convey the sense of the Psalmist’s understanding of a larger agenda for life. To be grounded in God’s law is to be grounded in God’s concern for our self-care, care of neighbor and care for all that God has made.
Each day is opportunity to choose the path of a life well-grounded. It may be that we do not always choose such paths and we may feel the anxst that ensues as a result, (like a hangover in which one avows “never again!”), but if you have ever traveled a recommended path to a glorious destination, you know the benefit of trust that follows.
The path is not a fast track to personal gain nor is it one of self-loathing and incessant guilt. This is a path of joy. “Happy,” says the Psalmist, when we find ourselves along the way. If we have concerns about our lives, the well-being of others or the health of the environment, what form does love take? There is too much that threatens life in this world, but so much more that enables us to give and to receive it.
You, beyond us,
May we find such joy in your patterns. Where we have felt the ache of misdirection, may we find the peace of new beginning.