Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Soul in Green Pastures

(Photo by Alyson Roth)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love with follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Psalm 23)

Such a familiar passage in the Christian world, yet it is one that I've drifted away from. I have not allowed myself to rest in that scripture. It encompasses all phases of life, and right now, I'm trying to figure out my place. Late quarter-life crisis? Maybe.

I went to my most favorite place this weekend - Yosemite National Park. I was looking forward to finally being there in the Springtime - the last season to conquer as I have been during the Summer, Fall, and Winter. So as one can imagine, I was extremely excited to follow out the "lay down in green pastures and beside still waters" part of the above scripture. I wanted to be alone with nature, my thoughts, my past life, my current life, and my God. My Yosemite. Well, the opposite happened.

I was so thankful for a friend to allow us to stay at his cabin in Bass Lake, just south of the southern entrance to Yosemite. There were six of us that went, and four had never been before. So, I became the tour guide. I partially knew this was going to happen. Perhaps I was in denial about the role, but I really didn't want to be the tour guide once in the park. I needed and wanted time by myself. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the flip side of it and enjoyed hanging out with my friends in a new and personal way. But watching them climb up fallen trees and splash across the streams, climbing rocks... well... it made me miss my old life again. Yosemite isn't what it used to be for me anymore, and that makes me sad when I'm around friends who are experiencing it for the first time and seeing their reactions as if watching my own back in the day ten years ago.

Thus the reason for looking forward to being alone with myself, my God, and my Yosemite for a moment. I'm sure the opportunity will happen again, and I really did have a good time seeing waterfalls I've never seen before but only heard about (because they are usually dried up by Summertime), and laughing, exploring, and telling stories about the in's and out's of Yosemite.

So I know I'm comforted by the Lord. My old life is just that... old and in the past. The memories are still there, and I'll never forget them. They were some of the best times of my life. But every so often it creeps up on me without warning, and I get sad.

He has anointed me and prepared a place for me at His table, so I know I'm going to feel that overflowing feeling of goodness again soon. It is always there, but there are times I reject it because I'm human.

It's time for me to get back in touch with my Shepherd so I don't "want" for anything else but Him. Teach me, Lord, that I don't need a physical place like Yosemite to lie down in to feel your presence, but that you are everywhere at all times at every moment when I need you. Forgive me for my selfishness, and teach me to lean on you in all settings, surroundings, and opportunities.


Blogger Montgomery said...

hope to see you this summer...appreciate your words. Ahh, Yosemite...

June 5, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

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