Last night I commented that the reason I like watching the television show Dancing with the Stars (besides the dancing) is that the celebrity participants seem, for the most part, like “real people” who are excited about learning a skill and appreciative of the camaraderie of the experience. Personalities emerge, of course, for better or for worse, but at this point in the 21st season, I find it all delightful. One of the stand-outs is Bindi Irwin, the daughter of Australian environmentalist Steve Irwin who died in 2006 from a stingray barb injury. Bindi was 8 years old. In addition to her talent as a dancer (whose partner is the amazing, 5-time winner Derek Hough) Bindi exudes the joy of life at every moment. She is authentically bubbly in spite of the devastating loss of her father that remains, and now even in the midst of the pain and injury during practice. She claims that complaining is never useful.
I thought St. Paul would have appreciated Bindi and I hear echoes of her comments in today’s Psalm 131. Paul says, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them…if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be sincere…Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (ROM 12:5-16) Psalm 131 seems a humble response to Paul’s exhortation: O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me. Nay, rather I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me… Good advice from the great ones of old and the example of a lovely young lady.