My Sue and the Psalms series is a hard habit to make. While I have some really remarkable experiences with scriptures practically daily (I love them more than yarn!), it’s difficult to type them up. And there’s always the fear of sounding like I’m bragging or holier than…I was a few minutes ago. (So forgive me if it sounds like that.)
I’m supposed to be at the Provo Rec Center today diving, swimming, and taking yoga class. I was on track till the Can’t Cant kicked in. Let’s hope I can pull a home workout out of the hat.
Cant is a word I’m familiar with because it appears in a lot of the word games I play. I’m semi-familiar with its meaning but, to be sure, I looked it up. This is Webster’s definition. Cant: the expression or repetition of conventional or trite opinions or sentiments. For example: I can’t. I’m too tired. I can’t. I feel too bummed for no apparent reason. I can’t. It’s too hot outside. I’m hungry, I’m tired, it’s hot…
Days that begin with I can’t require the application of crossword puzzles and/or scriptures. (If you didn’t do scriptures first you might need to start with something to neutralize your mind chatter.)
I’m about to type a lot of words out of my Morning Mining journal. Its purpose is to motivate me to get up and go. I record words of songs running through my head, the hymn I sang (if I sang), a verse or two of scripture, and my thoughts about the verses. I call it mining because I’m finding stuff by studying this way that I never found or thought of before. Normally I write about a half page; today it was nearly two pages…
The water is clear right here where you restore my soul.
Without your love there’d be no healing
There’d be no blood raining down to cover me
I once was lost, but you found me and brought me here
Now there’s a halo over me
In amazing Graceland. (from “Amazing Graceland” sung by Susan Ashton)
I think this is running through my head because it’s the last song I was listening to on my walk and it didn’t finish playing. That said, what a great message for me today. I’ve got “can’t cant” playing in another part of my mind. So frustrating. Where does it come from? You think you’re doing everything right and then, BANG, you have this hopeless, givey-up feeling. It’s tempting to write all of this in my journal: “What happened since yesterday???” And it’s tempting to blame it on The Enemy: of course Satan wants me to give up, especially after yesterday. But what if he’s a cat’s paw, part of the erosion—or refining—process?
I’m always explaining to myself how the objective of water is to streamline, to remove anything that obstructs its path. This is particularly obvious when diving. My swimsuits get stretched out over time, and beat up. Every time I dive in I’m disrupting the water’s status quo with great force, and my bathing suit is majorly in the way. Thus, after each dive I have to readjust my apparel for the sake of comfort and modesty. It’s worth it to me—the prospect of eventually having to replace all my suits—because I love to dive and the only way to get better as a diver is to dive A LOT.
Similarly, to get better as a person, there will be resistance to encounter—repeatedly. The nature of water is to resist disruption; that will never change. Human nature, interestingly, is both changing and unchanging. Resistance will always be present; did I think improving would be easy? Of course not, yet somehow it always takes me by surprise. (Probably because I didn’t think.) I need to remember, when making my plans, to plan for resistance (AKA opposition or even Yin Yang—but not AKA Good vs. Bad. There is no vs. It’s symbiotic. You know how in dreams you try to run, but your feet can’t get any purchase on the ground? Without the cooperation of the body the spirit can’t run.)
I also particularly like the line in the song about the water being clear. Outdoor water isn’t clear, like, in lakes and reservoirs. Came as a surprise to this pool-raised swimmer. (Streamlets maybe are clear.) Clear was the attention getter. Instead of seeing the turmoil I was in, listening to the song of the Can’t Choir, I was guided to look above the Pigpen cloud, look deeper in, remember and act. THE SCRIPTURES NEVER FAIL. Start there, Sue.
Since this is an episode of Sue and the Psalms , it feels appropriate to sing hymn #108 “The Lord Is My Shepherd.” Recently it came to me that while mind songs are excellent, I shouldn’t neglect singing myself. I want to say that, like the scriptures, the hymns never fail. I’m not sure it’s true, so I will say they are a great singable, memorable addendum to the scriptures.
<Break while Sue sings hymn.>
Of course the obvious scripture for today is Psalm 23 which I will read even though the hymn pretty much covered it. But the hymnbook provides another reference for this hymn which is poetic and psalm-like (in fact verse 1 of this chapter indicates it’s a song).
Isaiah 26:3-4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
“Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength”. (So many potential yoga class mantras in there!)
There aren’t many promises of perfection. If our minds are stayed on the Lord we can be kept in perfect peace. Doesn’t mean resistance will be removed, but we can trust in peace, or rely on it from God.
Because this summer is so very, very hot I’ve been going walking first thing in the morning. No more! First thing will be to fix my mind on the Lord, trust His grace; rely on, or rest in, peace. Then: Go to!