Psalm 119, the longest in the book of 150 psalms, has 176 verses and can be the study of a lifetime. In a commentary this morning I read that the subject of these prayers is the hard learning one gains in light of a multitude of hardships and circumstances encountered on the spiritual path…Experiences are often repeated again and again. As we go over the same territory learning it in new ways, truth becomes grounded. Insights are gained from each spiral of ascending experience.
How true that seems to me! The great thing is that as we grow older and if we are paying attention it becomes easier to accede to what is being taught. Our resistance to the messages and thinking we are right all the time wanes and God’s voice becomes stronger – but only if we are listening deeply.
Today’s lectionary section is early in the psalm and sounds either like a young person who is full of enthusiasm for the journey, or someone who knows from experience the pitfalls and is ready to surrender to God’s dream. Either way, I find it a lovely morning offering.
Even now, O Lord, if you will but teach me, I shall keep as treasure all you say. Give me an understanding heart to grasp what lies alone in you, the outlines of your law, your thought; imprint them on my soul. My deep desire is for a heart whose compass-point is aimed at your true north and not some weaker pole. I desire eyes as well that do not wander but hold your vision fast for all eternity. (vs. 33-37, Ancient Songs Sung Anew)