Who is God to you? Is he the source all that you need or is he who you run to when your world seems to be falling apart?
For David, the author of the 23rd Psalm, the Lord was his center; his guide and protector; his shepherd:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake. (Psalms 23:1-3, English Standard Version)
On my very best days I can begin to align myself with God as the center; the source of all that I need. Unlike my namesake, most days, and certainly for most of my life, I’ve been in the other group, turning to God only when I had completely exhausted myself trying to go it alone without him. What came to mind as I wrote the beginning of the Hurried Life version of the 23rd Psalm was all too true for me:
The Lord has my back; I don’t have time to seek him.
I hurry past green pastures and still waters,
seeking restoration for my soul.
I bypass the paths of righteousness,
for productivity’s sake. (From The 23rd Psalm for the Hurried Life)
It may seem to us like we don’t have time to seek God — to let him be our shepherd. We think the problem is we are too busy, but we have it upside down and backwards. When we see God as our center and provider of all that we need we naturally spend time with him. We seek him out to find out what good he has in mind for us.
Our problem is that when we don’t know or trust God as our shepherd we are compelled to work out life on our own terms. That is something we were never intended for. No matter how busy we are or how much we exert ourselves we will never quite make it. Not knowing or not trusting God’s goodness, we rush right past the green pastures and still waters that will restore our souls. We skip the paths of righteousness, pursuing what we deem best for ourselves: career advancement, popularity, money, love, etc. Trying to make our own versions of peace and satiety, we have no time for the only place they can really be found.
What would it be like for you if you let go? If you stopped trying to do it on your own? If you were able to trust the Lord to provide all the you need. I invite you to go to him in prayer. Ask him about your business and what he really wants for you.