Today’s Reading: PSALM 50; PSALM 73-74
Today’s post specific reading: Psalm 73:21 – 28
In 1981 an event happened in my life that only happens once in each of our lives. It can be the type of event that defines who we are the for the rest of our life or it can be the type of event that we simply let roll off our backs, never to affect us.
1981 was the year I graduated from high school and therefore the year that I went away to college. It was the year that I have left a great group of friends to find new friends away at college. It was the year that I left the perceived comfort of home to the perceived danger of the big wide world. It was the last year that I was senseless and ignorant.
In early October 1981 I was a practicing atheist (meaning someone who did not believe in God), not an agnostic (meaning one without knowledge of God). I had seen the religious people and hollow churches in old neighborhood and I had come to the conclusion that I would follow Karl Marx’s teaching that religion was the opiate or drug of the people used by the rich to keep the poor and oppressed down. I actually read the Bible in order to be prepared to challenge my religious friends on their beliefs. I specialized in reading Old Testament stories and then asking them if they believed that the earth was created in six days, or that the sun stood still for four hours to let a battle be won or if there really was a talking donkey.
Everything changed in a matter of 10 days or so. For the vacation for Columbus Day I went home for the extended weekend to find out that an old friend had died in a car accident. I went to my first funeral to see the first person I knew who had died. I was challenged with the reality of death and the reality of eternity. The question that came to me during this time in my life was “Why did he let this happen?” An astute friend challenged me to answer if the “he” I referred to should have been “He” Was I asking why my friend let this happen or was I asking why God let this happen.
The challenge caused me to seek answers and ultimately the answer I found was in a personal relationship with God. I had realized that there was more out there than what I denied existed. I realized that I was not succeeding on my own and that I needed someone, something to take ahold of my life and give it purpose and direction and salvation.
As I began to explore my new faith those first years, I came across Psalm 73:21 – 28 which I loved. For me it is as though I had written it. It was my story. I soon memorized the verses and still recall them to this day. It is interesting to write this post about what I call my life’s verses just two days after I admitted I struggle to appreciate Psalms.
Psalm 73:21 – 28 (NLT)
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
I suppose I better rethink my hesitancy to appreciate Psalms more. They obviously speak to me from time to time.