Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Psalm 119:1-8 (NRSV)
Happy are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me.
I am a dinosaur. I come from a generation that valued memorization. In school we memorized the multiplication tables, stanzas of poetry, and long columns of famous dates in history. In church we memorized scripture verses, the names of the disciples, the books of the Bible, and more.
As a school teacher for many years, I witnessed the move away from memorization and rote facts to the philosophy that children do not need to commit to memory a list of needless information; rather, they need to know where to go to retrieve the information. I am not sure that the writer of Psalm 119 would totally agree with this notion. As the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible, it appears to be written as a repetitive meditation on the beauty of God’s Word and how it helps us to remain pure and grow in faith.
One might argue that there is no need to commit scripture to memory, as the Bible is readily available at our fingertips. We need only look up a particular verse on an iPhone. But to be truly effective for our spiritual journey, God’s Word must be deeply rooted within us. Memorizing scripture does not prevent us from sinning, but when put to work in our daily lives, it becomes a guide for everything that we do.
Our most holy God, thank you for your Word. Help us to meditate on it day and night so that we might live a life that is pleasing in your sight. Help us to live so that our lives are a witness to others. Let us rejoice as we follow the guidance of your leading, knowing that in you alone there is life everlasting. Amen.
Go with God.