The Meaning of Life

8 Aug

Psalm 95 begins as a typical song of praise. The description of God is one that I have grown accustomed, have you? God has created all; God is the high God; so we praise God; right, right.

1-2 Come, let’s shout praises to God,
raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!
Let’s march into his presence singing praises,
lifting the rafters with our hymns!
3-5 And why? Because God is the best,
High King over all the gods.
In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns,
in the other hand grasps the high mountains.
He made Ocean—he owns it!
His hands sculpted Earth!
6-7 So come, let us worship: bow before him,
on your knees before God, who made us!
Oh yes, he’s our God,
and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.

Yet, God’s people have not listened in the past. They have not praised God, but have grumbled. And before we say, “O, those ungrateful people of the past”, think about what you have grumbled about lately. If you have not complained about anything lately, great. Yet, I catch myself grumbling too much. . . why don’t people show up for church in the summer. . , why can’t I lose weight like when I was younger. . , why does life turn out so differently than expected. . . I can identify with grumblers. So, this psalm is for me.

7-11 Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks:
“Don’t turn a deaf ear as in the Bitter Uprising,
As on the day of the Wilderness Test,
when your ancestors turned and put me to the test.
For forty years they watched me at work among them,
as over and over they tried my patience.
And I was provoked—oh, was I provoked!
‘Can’t they keep their minds on God for five minutes?
Do they simply refuse to walk down my road?’
Exasperated, I exploded,
‘They’ll never get where they’re headed,
never be able to sit down and rest.’”

The psalm says, to find rest we must stop grumbling, embrace the moment and praise God. Let’s imagine that’s the only reason God created us. . . so we could praise God. Here’s today’s challenge. To praise God not just by saying thank you to God for a new day, or our health, or our wealth, or our intelligence, or a free country to live in, but praising God by the gentleness with which we speak to another, by the caring way we use our resources, by the way we use the creative power we have to make beautiful. Imagine each choice that we make today reflected a praise to the living God who has created all things and joins with us in the praising of the present moment. How would that change the choices we make today?? I think I might try it.

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One Response to “The Meaning of Life”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger August 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Mary,

    I remember one summer during college I was a counselor for a camp. During orientation the leader asked what was the #1 issue we’d have to deal with our campers. I thought….bedwetting, homesickness…. then she announced…complaining. Folks love to complain. Thanks for the reminder and also ways to avoid doing it!

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