Psalm 1–Delight in pondering the ways of God

If your town is like mine, it has been a very cold, icy, snowy winter. This week my hubby is shoveling snow–off the roof!  (We have to prevent “ice dams” that could cause water to seep inside the house.)

At times like this, it’s nourishing to feast one’s eyes on the green in this picture:

Tree beside stream--photo by Julie McCarty

(click on photo to enlarge)

I was reminded of this photo while reading Psalm 1 this morning (sorry, the margins aren’t what I wanted):

Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
        planted by streams of water,
        which yield their fruit in its season. . .  (NRSV)

In my prayer journal, I have found it sometimes helps to paraphrase or adapt bible verses for our day and age. When I put something in my own words, it forces me to think about it more deeply. (As a straight paraphrase, one would stick to the text, considering what the author intended. As a prayerful meditation, one can be a little creative.) 

In my case, I reworked the words for my own Christ-centered beliefs. I have respect for the psalms just as they were written, and I know that not everyone will agree with how I have rephrased it. However, that’s one nice thing about a prayer journal: you can explore ideas without worrying so much about what others might think.

Green tree--photo by Julie McCartyHere’s how I adapted this passage:

Blessed is she who delights
in the way of Christ,
pondering it day and night.
She is like a tree
planted beside a stream,
drinking in the waters of the Spirit,
bearing fruit, with God’s help,
in due time.  

I encourage you to try this way of praying. Study a bible passage and then rewrite it in your own words–just for yourself. Seek to really listen to God’s word–and apply it to your own life.

Whatever way you like to pray, may the good Lord bless you this day, with the nutritious waters of the divine Spirit–and the renewed hope that spring is just around the corner.

Until next time, Amen! 

One thought on “Psalm 1–Delight in pondering the ways of God

  1. Thank you Julie, for the beautiful photograph – please don’t worry about the margins 🙂 Your prayer paraphrase is a way that I have known for years, but sometimes forget to use, so thank you for a very timely ‘holy nudge’
    Love Judy<3

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