Psalm 23: 1-3  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 right paths for his name’s sake.

Meditation: This is a widely quoted section of scripture. Interestingly, it uses rural or pastoral language that describes a scene that is unfamiliar to much of the world we live in. My grandparents had a potato farm in northern Maine and our family visited each summer for a week or so. I have early memories of life on the farm, the chickens and the cows, and I can even remember an old horse left over from the days of the horse and buggy, but not a single sheep in sight. Frankly that rural life was a lot of work. At times more than 12-hour days and 7 days a week.

So, what is the image presented by this scripture?  It is a common image from the area where the Jewish people lived. Shepherd imagery shows up often. From our early human days, I’m quite sure we could find too much to do and ways to run around in circles. I’ve over time become convinced that if the world around us can keep us going 90 miles an hour, then we will never hear the quiet voice of God speaking to us. The Psalmist knew that and wrote about it. God would have us lie down/sit down/lose the phone and be quiet and listen for his word. Want your soul restored? I don’t know about you, but I have to be deliberate about that or another week has slipped by without asking, “Lord what would you have me do?”.

Prayer: Lord, help us to get outside of ourselves and listen to you.  Amen