December 25, 2009
December 24, 2009
December 16, 2009
Cast Your Burden on the Lord
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
2 Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
3 because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
7 yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
8 I would hurry to find a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest.”
9 Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11 ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its marketplace.
12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
then I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
14 We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God's house we walked in the throng.
15 Let death steal over them;
let them go down to Sheol alive;
for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.
16 But I call to God,
and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
18 He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
19 God will give ear and humble them,
he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
and do not fear God.
20 My companion stretched out his hand against his friends;
he violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
23 But you, O God, will cast them down
into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.
December 3, 2009
I jumped first. The fall was exhilarating but my impact with the water was almost debilitating. I pasted a lying smile on my face and groaned out a "Come on! It's great!" My poor entry into the water was no reason to deny others the thrill of leaping from the stony security of the cliff. One after the other they took the leap with a descending "Whooo!," a glorious splash and a concluding fist pumped victoriously into the air with a shout of conquest. It was, and will be forever, a memorable day.
My friend Barry captured this photo of my eldest taking his leap. It is a photo with the potency of poetry. Not only was Jeremy leaping from rock to river, he was also making the leap from family to future. It is his next big step. He seems to be enjoying the journey much like he enjoyed that marvelous day at the river. I hear tales of leaps he's recently taken from a bridge into a river near campus! I suppose that first big step and that first big leap inevitably lead to others quite naturally.
Do I worry? Sure. What parent doesn't? (I can tell you my mother worried enough for all of us on the day the photo was taken!) But my worry is not that he'll get hurt, or that he'll do something stupid - I'm pretty certain that's going to happen along the way. No my worry is, and has always been, that he will be afraid to take the next big step.
So, for Christmas he's getting a framed copy of this perfect parable in a photo to remind him of the joy in taking the next big step. Please don't tell him. I'd like to watch his face as he remembers this unforgettable day.