God is searching

15 Sep

Psalm 14 from The Message

1 Bilious and bloated, they gas, “God is gone.” Their words are poison gas, fouling the air; they poison Rivers and skies; thistles are their cash crop.

2 God sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He’s looking for someone not stupid— one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman.

3 He comes up empty. A string of zeros. Useless, unshepherded Sheep, taking turns pretending to be Shepherd. The ninety and nine follow their fellow.

4 Don’t they know anything, all these impostors? Don’t they know they can’t get away with this— Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they’re too busy to pray?

5-6 Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims. Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true.

7 Is there anyone around to save Israel? Yes. God is around; God turns life around. Turned-around Jacob skips rope, turned-around Israel sings laughter.

Sometimes we think that ideas started with our generation. Such as, in the 60s when there was the “God is Dead” movement. It is clear from the psalm that since the beginning of belief, there has been disbelief in God. The disbelieving people in this psalm are corrupt and produce nothing.

I like Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of, ‘God is looking for someone not stupid.’ I sometimes think that that is all God can hope for is someone not stupid. Someone who is open enough to welcome God into their present moment. But the psalmist feels that God is coming up empty. God is only finding people who want to be the leader and not have God be God.

I understand the psalmist frustration. Seeing human beings treat others with so much disregard that they are treating them like fast-food that we don’t even bother to pray over. In one of Richard Foster’s books he talks about praying for anyone you come into contact with. I know when I am stuck somewhere – like I was stuck in traffic the other day – I try to remind myself that I can always pray. I go through my list of people I love and are important in my life and then I start looking around me. Praying for anyone in sight. I have no idea if it changes their day, but it changes mine. It is so much easier for me to find joy and gratitude when I am praying. I want God to be the leader. I am fully aware that the most I can be is a faithful sheep. I like it that way.

Baaa, enjoy your day.  

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