books, contemplative, deeper listening, examples by others, God's song, heart, hymn of praise, Jesus, John the Baptist, love song, psalm 25, Teach me your ways O Lord, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, your ways make known to me
In the midst of a prophetic message and a gospel passage about the authority of Jesus and the preaching of John the Baptist, it was Psalm 25 that caught my attention this morning. The refrain was simple. Teach me your ways, O Lord, the psalmist sings. And then there is this verse, direct and to the point: Your ways, O Lord, make known to me. Teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God, my savior.
I began to think about all the teachers I have had in my life – in and out of school. Parents, siblings, friends, Sisters of St. Joseph & St. Francis as well as other holy people, events (daily and momentous) and, so often, the natural world. Books have companioned me since I was very young and retreats of all kinds have added insights in the silence. It’s that last that gave me pause because no matter how gifted or dear to me each occasion for learning has been, without reflection the lessons would surely not have been learned.
The psalmist is asking for God to be the teacher and it is the way of God that s/he longs to learn. Books and the example of others can help me see what a life so lived might look like but it takes deep, contemplative listening to wake up to the meanings and resolve to follow what has been revealed. Ultimately it is my heart that must be tuned to God’s song if I am to stay on key and become a hymn of praise that is authentic. In the end, if I have learned the lessons well, there will be nothing left of me but a love song.