So far in 2022 I have read the Book of Psalms twice. I read it almost every morning and pray over what I read. I sometimes journal about an insight but more often I sit quietly and stare out the window and allow the words to gently reverberate in my mind. I wish I could say this has been transforming (maybe it would be if I didn’t already read the bible daily). It is too gentle a practice, I think, to be described as transforming. It is a slow process, this rooting the psalms into mind and soul.
Spring is in the air in Ottawa, flowers are working but mostly in the rich soil out of sight for now. The heats softly rising and the roots are quietly lengthening. It doesn’t look like much, certainly nothing like the flowers we are to enjoy. Reading the psalms daily is something like that, it is tender and requires cultivating, it doesn’t look like much, they aren’t long to read, one doesn’t need a PHD to understand them, and yet I sense the flower is coming. It is far off in the distance, I wouldn’t say the stock has formed, let alone the bud, to say nothing of the flower, and yet this process of reading feels right.
I wonder what practices others are trying that feel appropriate for them? How do we know that we are forming the correct habit other than a calm sense of holiness, regardless of the immediate outcomes?
I am a product of my times and I yearn for more advancement more quickly, like anyone else tethered to an iPhone I want “results.” And yet, this psalm reading practice is slow and in the slowness there is freedom, hope, and elements of honesty and integrity striking at my core.
This morning my prayer for the congregation I serve is that each of us would find practices suited to our individual needs, routines that can bring us closer to God and more at peace with the self. Peace if not a product, it is not created easily and for many of us we notice it through lack or want rather than by its presences which is all too often assumed or taken for granted.
May you find it.