Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Psalm 90 and our significance

This week i have been captivated by Psalm 90. Both the psalm and the reading from Deuteronomy provide a focus on our mortality.
I love this insight from the 'Journey with Jesus' Website

"Life is difficult," wrote M. Scott Peck in one of the most famous first sentences ever (The Road Less Traveled). "This is a great truth," said Peck, "one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it."
           Psalm 90 conveys a sense of Weltschmerz, a feeling of melancholy, apathy, and world-weariness. The poem acknowledges the inherent futility to life, such that "we finish our years with a moan." Whether we live eighty, ninety, or even a hundred years, "yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, / for they quickly pass, and we fly away."
           We're all "fighting the long defeat," said Tolkien. And nobody gets a free pass.
           Despite the passage of time and the pain of life, the psalmist doesn't cave in to stoicism or despair. He prays to be a person of joy and gladness. "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, / that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. / Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, / for as many years as we have seen trouble."
           There's a delicate balance here between living in reality rather than denying it, and nonetheless trusting our little lives to God's greater providence. In his poem The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, the poet-farmer Wendell Berry thus advises:

"Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts."

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