Friendship and Days Off

It’s four in the morning and I haven’t been able to get to sleep yet. I’m finally starting to feel like I could get to sleep, but I’m picking up a friend’s sister at the train station at 6, which means even if I could get to sleep, I’d only get an hour and a half of sleep, which isn’t enough to actually help me at all. I do have all of my work for the week done, and this is a good thing. I don’t want to have to try grading papers without sleep again.

I also took a day off from God today. That sounds bad, doesn’t it? It wasn’t really an intentional day off. I had work, and then I had plans with a friend, and then I had to workout, and then I had more work, and suddenly I found myself at 11 pm thinking about God for the first time. That being said, God made a point to me tonight. When I finally did get around to spending some time with him, he pointed me to Psalm 23. Obviously, Pslam 23 is beautiful (if you haven’t read it lately you should try… I’m thinking about memorizing it in Hebrew). I have a copy of the New English Translation, which I love, but it’s one that I don’t see around very often. Psalm 23 opens with “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing”.

I spent a good amount of time with this verse tonight. Sometimes taking a day off from God can give you a little perspective. We all need a rest sometimes, and sometimes that means a rest from trying, from striving, from pushing to rest in God. Remember that whole Taoism thing that I’ve talked about a few times? Laozi wasn’t completely right. Sometimes we need to strive, to push, to fight for the things we want.

Sometimes, though, we need to rest from everything. We need to stop striving and just enjoy the day that God has made. Today I enjoyed the day that God gave me. I enjoyed working, I enjoyed that crappy movie that my friend and I went to see, and I enjoyed exercising. I’m almost enjoying the forced all-nighter that’s going on right now. This is the thing with God, even when you take time off, he doesn’t. He waits for you, wraps you up in warmth, and lets you enjoy your day alone. This is the kind of love that we all need, and it’s the kind of love that lets you say: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”

There is nothing in this life that I can’t survive without, except time with God. He is my shepherd, my rock, my redeemer, my lord. Something that a lot of people don’t know is that Psalm 23 was probably written during Absalom’s rebellion. This was a time in which David was old, beaten down, besieged, and had no reason to hope for the future. Psalm 23 was not written during a time in which David had great blessings, it was written during a time in which David had great trials. In the midst of this, David opens with the phrase, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.”

I want to be in the place where I can say that honestly and with a full heart, no matter what my circumstance or situation. Like David, I want to be able to say, at my lowest point, that I lack nothing, that my cup is overfilled, and that I will not fear. I’m not there yet, but he keeps working on it.