David sets us up to be concerned if God is delighted with us: “Our steps are made firm by the LORD, when he delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds us by the hand. Depart from evil, and do good; so you shall abide forever. For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones.” (Psalm 37 NRSV).
I say, “I am not ready yet.” I feel guilty if I come to the Lord when I am not ready. I’m busy just now with the natural world. I have some things I must do with the ungodly. It’s business you know. I’m too focused on these things to give the Lord any quality time. I can’t be distracted, lest I fail or stumble in the natural world. God will have to wait on me until I can clear up these things and get some time for Him. I must protect my natural world assets so that I will be able to return to the Lord when I am secure in these worldly things.
I fool myself when I seek a luxurious, self-indulgent way of life. When I put the Lord on hold so that I can first secure my career, my high way of living, and my position in the worldly scheme of things, I do not fool the Lord.
When I put Him on hold, I ignore my main cheerleader. I ignore the one who delights in me when I turn to Him. I ignore the one who is my real source in life. I ignore the one who teaches me the justice that I must have in my natural world endeavors. His hand is outstretched for me to hold and I don’t see it.
Why can’t I understand what the psalmist (David) is saying? My steps are made firm by the Lord, when He delights in my way. David speaks from experience. He almost destroyed himself trying to do things the worldly way, his own way. Must I repeat the mistakes of history? Can I not see the way and the plight of the unfaithful? Are there not thousands of examples? Even a natural world evaluation of the history of the misguided would consider it a faulty path.
Father God, Please wake me up. My dreams are not about Your ways. I dream of the worldly. My concern is with the material. I pray that You help me better see You as my source in all things. Show me Your justice. Help me to integrate it into my life. Most of all, Father, help me to see that I must seek You now in all things. I cannot put my relationship with You on hold. I know that I need You, Father, but I defer to the natural world as my source. Help me Father, for I am a distracted sinner. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.