Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 49. (MsgB)
Listen, everyone, listen—earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves and have-nots, all together now: listen.
Don’t be impressed with those who get rich and pile up fame and fortune.
They can’t take it with them; fame and fortune all get left behind.
Just when they think they’ve arrived and folks praise them because they’ve made good,
They enter the family burial plot where they’ll never see sunshine again.
We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long. Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.
In words accredited to comedian Lily Tomlin, but actually first uttered by a Yale chaplain named William Sloane Coffin (appropriately named, don’t you think?)…
“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win…you’re still a rat!”
Or how about this little tidbit on life from Pastor Chuck Swindoll?
“We all work so hard in this lifetime to accumulate more stuff. But, let’s face it folks, when was the last time you saw a hearse pulling a U-Haul?”
Then there’s King Solomon, son of King David, who wrote in his Book of Ecclesiastes…
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
As I see it, Winnie the Pooh’s friend, Eeyore, probably said it best…
Let’s face it folks.
Like it or not, we earth dwellers are highly overrated when it comes to our true ability to actually make something important happen in this universe of ours. Let’s be honest. We’re specks of dust in the Hoover Vacuum of Life. And sadly, so much of the time, my friends, life sucks! (sorry for the pun!) :0)
After over 60+ years of life down here on planet earth, I’ve learned that I can work my fingers to the bone, gather up all the toys into my personalized toy box, but still not accomplish much when it’s all said and done.
But here’s the rub.
Even when I come down where I really ought to be (using the old Shaker melody), I find a loving God who whispers to me in my moments of despair…
“About time, son, you realized how really ineffective you are in saving yourself or in making a big splash in your world. But now, son…now that you’re down here where you ought to be, let Me show you how really important you are to Me, your Creator-King!”
While it’s true, I’m just an old dog, waiting to die like all the other old dogs out there, I’m actually a beloved old dog that belongs to my Daddy in Heaven! In truth, the Bible teaches me that our loving Father loves to use old, dying dogs to chew on some pretty neat bones down here in this doghouse called life. Actually, once I come to the realization that I’ll always be just an old, fat rat in the earthly rat race of life, I believe that God has some pretty neat plans for old rats. Ones who’ve decided that they’re tired of running in the rat race and would prefer to run the remainder of their lives God’s way instead of our own!
In truth, Jesus of Nazareth, a heaven-sent Savior who was made in the image of God, indicated to us 2,000 years ago that our Creator-King actually loves rats so much that He has made an amazing way to redeem rats from the rat race, giving them a whole new piece of heaven-sent cheese to gnaw on! My new translation of John 3: 16!
Hey, you old dog. Attention all you road rats.
The story isn’t over. Move over Eeyore, maybe there is something down here to bother with after all!
My prayer: God, while I’m just an old rat looking for more cheese, let me come to my senses today and know that You are, and always have been, in the rat-redemption business. I, for one, choose to lay down my personalized rat race today and pickup instead, Your heaven-sent agenda for old rats. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: The old Shaker melody says, “Tis a gift to be simple. Tis a gift to be free. Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be.” What might it look like for me today to step down off the road race for rats and wait on God, allowing His agendas to supersede mine?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win…you’re still a rat!” nice.