Summertime's a Time of Spiritual RenewalJuly 21st, 2011
During my schooldays, many moons ago, there were three brothers who were identical triplets. They were what we called ‘prefects’ (senior students authorized to enforce discipline in a school). As hall-monitors it was their task to report unruly behaviour in the corridors as students made their way from on classroom to another. For new students it always came as quite a surprise when heading up to the third floor of the school as on each floor you saw the ‘same’ person who had been on the floor previous. It always took a few days to figure out there were in fact three of them and that they were identical triplets.
On getting to know them, and they did look very much alike, each one had a very different unique personality. I wonder what they have achieved in their lives?
I’m reflecting on the Psalm for Sunday, Psalm 139, a beautiful praise-filled prayer which is 3000 years old. The Psalmist is contemplating but never able to fully comprehend this creature (himself ) that God, the One who has formed him and has fashioned him in a way that only God knows. Fearfully ( awesomely might be a better translation ) and wonderfully made, the Psalmist ponders how God has ‘created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb’. The Psalmist can only look upon God, The Creator of all, with awe and wonder.
The Psalmist begins his praise-filled prayer acknowledging that God knows him perfectly. What makes this praise-filled psalm a praise-filled prayer is the Psalmist’s profound awareness of God, and who courageously asks God, who knows his every thought, knows his every word, and knows his every deed, and from whom there is no hiding from, to search his heart to see if there is any offensive way in him and to lead him in the ‘way everlasting’.
Yes, God knew him perfectly. Yes, God knew him far beyond any knowledge he had of himself. Yes, God knew his every action, when he sat down to eat or to rest and when he rose to begin a new day. Yes, God knew his every undertaking, when he went out to do daily chores or when he was simply lying down in his bed - God was familiar with the manner in which he pursued each and every undertaking. For the Psalmist, in this praise-filled prayer, there is no place in all Creation where one can hide from God. But this is not a heavy handed kind of divine supervision by God, but rather, as the praise-filled prayer denotes, it is acknowledgment of God’s loving care, of God’s concern, for God has ‘laid His hand upon me and such knowledge is too wonderful for me to attain’. We can never ‘attain’ - succeed in accomplishing to fully comprehend God’s thoughts.
Using the Psalmist’s words helps us to offer our very own praise-filled prayer of thanksgiving as it is God who ‘knit us together’ in our mother’s womb and who has ordained the span of our lives before we were born. It is God who knows us better than we can know ourselves. It is God who knows us so throughly, who knows our innermost feelings and every anxious thought and fear; every hope and joy; every sorrow and tear, and every ambitious undertaking, both great and small, because it is God who has ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ made us as we are!
Each time when running along the river, or upone of those hilly runs that reward us with a great view of the Saint John River Valley, I give thanks to God for the ability and health to run!
Blessings & More!
the running rev