April 29, 2014
READ: Psalm 23:1-6
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams (v.2).
The year 2013 had hardly begun before I felt as if I needed a vacation. A house renovation, a book launch, a trip to Ethiopia and two speaking trips to Australia had left the year with little free space. In the midst of the busyness, I picked up a book one night and found this delightful paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Japanese poet Toki Miyashina:
The Lord is my Pacesetter, I shall not rush. He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals. He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity. He leads me in ways of efficiency through calmness of mind and His guidance is peace. Even though I have a great many things to accomplish this day, I will not fret, for His presence is here. His timelessness, His all-importance, will keep me in balance. He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my head with the oil of tranquility. My cup of joyous energy overflows. Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours, for I shall walk in the place of my Lord and dwell in His house forever.
Having visited Japan and seen its rushing masses and its countryside overtaken by shopping malls, this is a wonderful paraphrase of the original psalm for a society that knows little of shepherds and meadows (Psalm 23:1-2). But it’s more than that. Like the original psalm, the poem is a reminder for people like me—who easily get caught in the grip of rush and hurry—that God is unrushed and His guidance is unhurried.
I need to stop and meditate on this for a while.
The Lord is my Pacesetter, I shall not rush. Even though I have a great many things to accomplish this day, I will not fret, for His presence is here (vv.4-6).
365-day plan› Nehemiah 2:1-20
Read 2 Peter 1:2 and consider what it says about what God brings to your life.
How are you prone to rush forward with your own plans rather than resting in God? How can we live out God’s peace when life seems so busy?