Maybe originality is not as important as I thought

image.jpg

I've been writing to the Psalms for several years now. To be honest, doing this series has lost some of its original excitement. The main reason, I think, is because it's hard to say something that doesn't feel like something I've said before. 

I blame this problem on the Psalms themselves. They just start to become so repetitive after awhile.

God is good, faithful, and trustworthy... The world is confusing with people who do evil seemingly being blessed... Our troubles have piled up too high, and the supposedly good, faithful, and trustworthy God seems buried underneath it all... But I will praise the Lord anyway with all my heart and soul. 

Psalms become predictable. The lines get repeated and the poetry doesn't end up feeling all that original. How do I put my own spin on a psalm that's saying the same thing ten other psalms have said?

Maybe I don't have to. Maybe that's not the point. 

Psalms seem less concerned with originality and more concerned with the connection between it all. Our human experiences often have more commonalities than we think. We are not alone in our doubts or praises of a mysterious God. 

The Psalmists take the time to put thoughts to paper, joining the chorus that has been sung through the ages with the unique verses of their own perspective. Each psalm is unique, but few are all that original. 

I wonder how it could free us if we stopped putting the expectation on ourselves to always be the best or the only. We are uniquely us, and yet we are part of a collective of people that are a lot like us. Our experiences of God are our own, and yet they echo with the truth, love, and questions that have existed since the beginning of all things. 

I don't think Psalm 112 says much that is new. And I think that's what makes me like it. 

----- 

This post on Psalm 112 is part of my Psalms Journey series. I have been a bit sporadic with that series, but I am not giving up. 

#PsalmsJourney is a series reflecting on the Psalms one at a time, in order. Learn more about it on my Psalms Journey page. If you'd like to join me, put a link to your own post in the comments.

Transformation is Far from Instant

Have you heard of The Mudroom? It's a collaborative blog that I'm posting on today. Here's a bit of what The Mudroom about,

Our vision is simple: make room for people.

Sometimes we feel like there’s no room at the table, or we don’t belong at the table, but what if we sidestep the table entirely and just meet in the mudroom? Sometimes the formality of the table can be intimidating and we find ourselves wishing we were under the table.

Sometimes we need the smaller space, the comforting place, with the people who will shove the cast off sweatshirts and baseball gloves and skateboards out of the way and slide to the floor with us. What if we just didn’t go in, and stayed in the mudroom instead?

Welcome to the mudroom. It might be a mess, but that’s what it’s there for.

Isn't that great? The world certainly needs more visions and attitudes like that. I'm honored to have my words there today.

Here's how the post begins...

It’s a parn that’s been there since the beginning, but it’s taken me most of my adult life to see it. 

I am an achievement-oriented person. I love to check things off lists and accomplish goals. In a society like the United States, it’s a pretty common way of interacting with the world. It is no surprise that I, and many others, have brought that way of thinking into the way we read the Bible.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Hooray! We accept Christ and get to check so many things off our lists all at once. Get rid of bad habits—check. Let go of insecurities—check. Find freedom from pain—check. Receive a new life—check. We breathe deeply this hope of the Gospel, and sigh in rich satisfaction at the thought of a different future. We anticipate a path without the struggle we have pushed our way through to get to this fresh air.

It doesn’t take long before we are disappointed. It turns out that though belief can happen in a moment,the emergence of a new life is far from instant. 

And so, we wonder . . . have we failed? Did we not do something we were supposed to do in order to receive what has been promised to us?...

Read more of Accepting the Process over at The Mudroom.