New Blog Address

Ryan's blog can now be found HERE.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Psalm 73

I joined this fancy club recently for networking and business purposes. It's a really beautiful facility and it has very successful and connected members. It made a lot of sense for me to join. One of the services I sell at work is marble polishing and I'm certain that there is a lot of marble to be polished among the homes and offices of my fellow club members. I also see a lot of opportunity for expanding the donor base of things I care about such as Hunting Park Christian Academy. So I'm glad I joined.

But every coin has (at least) two sides and I found that this coin may be brightly polished on one, but severely tarnished on another. I had lunch with five or six gentlemen the other day. I'm not easily offended, but the conversation was almost more than I could bear. I couldn't believe that these guys would talk about such things in public. I couldn't take much more so I ate about half of my lunch and politely excused myself.

I'm very self-conscious in this environment. I'm not really "successful" in worldly terms. I didn't go to a prestigious university, don't work for a top level firm, don't drive a fancy car, don't have an impressive wardrobe, can't regale you with witty stories of conquest, don't have a wife or a girlfriend, don't live in a good zipcode, and don't go to the popular playgrounds of the wealthy - I barely know where they are. When I hear these guys talking about this stuff, I want to fit in. Their lives sound so interesting and cool.

Our pastor preached from Psalm 73 yesterday and it hit home for me in light of this club. Of course, I am sure there are many wonderful people at the club. I had one bad experience at lunch. But there is a magnetism to wealth and success that pulls at me and tempts me to sell out in a way that is kind of frightening. I think the key is to remember that my identity is in Christ and not be afraid to claim that wherever I go. Maybe you can pray for me.

Psalm 73 - The Message

An Asaph Psalm

No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
But I nearly missed it,
missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way,
looking up to the people
At the top,
envying the wicked who have it made,
Who have nothing to worry about,
not a care in the whole wide world.

Pretentious with arrogance,
they wear the latest fashions in violence,
Pampered and overfed,
decked out in silk bows of silliness.
They jeer, using words to kill;
they bully their way with words.
They're full of hot air,
loudmouths disturbing the peace.
People actually listen to them—can you believe it?
Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.

What's going on here? Is God out to lunch?
Nobody's tending the store.
The wicked get by with everything;
they have it made, piling up riches.
I've been stupid to play by the rules;
what has it gotten me?
A long run of bad luck, that's what—
a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.

If I'd have given in and talked like this,
I would have betrayed your dear children.
Still, when I tried to figure it out,
all I got was a splitting headache . . .
Until I entered the sanctuary of God.
Then I saw the whole picture:
The slippery road you've put them on,
with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.
In the blink of an eye, disaster!
A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!
We wake up and rub our eyes....Nothing.
There's nothing to them. And there never was.

When I was beleaguered and bitter,
totally consumed by envy,
I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox
in your very presence.
I'm still in your presence,
but you've taken my hand.
You wisely and tenderly lead me,
and then you bless me.

You're all I want in heaven!
You're all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
God is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
Deserters, they'll never be heard from again.
But I'm in the very presence of God—
oh, how refreshing it is!
I've made Lord God my home.
God, I'm telling the world what you do!

1 comment:

MJ said...

Lovely post. I'll pray for you every day that the Lord gives me breath.