Our Shepherd

1 - a shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters; He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

This was the first psalm I memorized, and it still is a great part of my life sixty-five years later . . . when I am in the moment. This psalm, along with the presentation of the Festival of Dedication in John 10, was the subject of our rector’s homily yesterday at church. The great question asked by the apostles was are you the one.

We all ask this, at many times in our lives. Reflecting on Psalm 23, the answer is yes, for me. We are doubters; remember Thomas’s doubts. When we doubt, we are not fully prepared for God’s love that dwells within us; we are not able to see what is within us and surrounding us. As our rector stated: If you are not living within the moment, the moment is not, cannot be within you. Something is missing.

I think back to something I said in a previous meditation; if we are not as present in the moment, the same way that a child is present, we are not fully accepting God’s presence within us. Just watch a child at play, while coloring, or reading. The concentration there is obvious; nothing can pierce the protective shell that the child has temporarily created while doing that one thing. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost the ability of a young child to be present in the current moment.

This is the way we can be when we remember that God is within us.

Too often, we live with the expectation of something greater than the present is waiting for us. Is not this our egos usurping our every moment? Can we let go of our self-importance to accept the presence of God within us? I find this very difficult at times, especially when I awaken each morning with the pains of old age.

However, when I am like and child and remember the words of David’s psalm, I can feel God’s closeness; I know that I am walking in His light. I know that when I am as a young child, I am filled with His love and His grace.

May you feel God’s presence today.

 

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