Psalm 119

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.  Psalm 119:36-37

My week is oriented toward weekends. I work as a hospital chaplain every Sunday. I work Friday or Saturday, Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes four out of the five. What many people think of as the midweek, I think of as my break. My days for catching up on the list, for working ahead on the list.

And sometimes that’s hard. Because what I most want to do in the middle of the week is sit here on the sofa and take a nap. Particularly today when I look outside and watch the snow. And I hear the sound of heat in the pipes, circulating from our new furnace. Particularly when the weekend included hard moments around death and emotional moments around regained life.

I simply want to do nothing.

At the top of my to-do list these days are the words at the top of this post. Turn my heart. Turn my eyes.

Psalm 119 is a one-stop shop for Bible statements. Literally. Every sentence in this longest psalm mentions the Bible. The other week, these two sentences jumped out, as I was reading emails about starting courses that would sell and posts about writing books that would sell and spending my own time tracking books that have sold.

“God, help my heart resonate with your words, not mine,” the writer prayed. “Help me look away from the arguments and the debates that don’t matter.” Instead, I would add, “help me live out the actions that are loving you with my heart and with my mind and my strength.”

At the moment, that may mean a nap instead of Facebook. To renew my strength and courage.


Before You Walk In Copyright © 2021 by Jon Charles Swanson. All Rights Reserved.

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