After some floundering…

OK. Now I’m satisfied. I played around with some other blog names, but this one seems quite appropriate, on a number of levels, so I’m sticking with it. For now. I guess flexibility is an essential part of preparing.

……….

Over the course of the last year I’ve taken an interest in reading spiritual blogs. One that I don’t read frequently, but consistently find wisdom within whenever I do, belongs to this lady. She once wrote a post citing the Hasidic tradition of praying one’s life year in correspondence with the Psalms. This past September (on my birthday), I began praying Psalm 39. Following is the English Revised Version (ERV). I use this version because I discovered an antiphon that works well with it and which I listen to (and try to chant along with) several times a week.

1 For the Chief Musician, for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

 

2 I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

 

3 My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire kindled: then spake I with my tongue:

 

4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; let me know how frail I am.

 

5 Behold, thou hast made my days as handbreadths; and mine age is as nothing before thee: surely every man at his best estate is altogether vanity. Selah

 

6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

 

7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

 

8 Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.

 

9 I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

 

10 Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

 

11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah

 

12 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

 

13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

……………………………………….

I started doing this sporadically last year, starting with Psalm 38. While I saw elements that applied to my own life in that Psalm, this one seems to have been written with me in mind.

Heavenly Father,

I need your help. How hard it is to “sin not with my tongue.” You have given me a soul that not only longs for justice, but one that struggles not to point out its absence at every convenient opportunity. Help me to keep my tongue with a bridle and to know when to shut up. Help me also to open my mouth when it serves your purposes.

Lord, in many ways you have helped me to know my end. I thank you for that blessing, for pointing out my frailties. I praise you for being a God of second (and third and fourth and fifth…) chances. Now help me to seize the opportunities you put in front of me – chances that help me prepare your Kingdom.

These things I pray in the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever.

Amen.

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