I have been wandering all my adult life. From atheism to repentance, the university and Intervarsity, the International House of Prayer, my History degree, moving to Tallahassee--I've been making reactive decisions. Not one of these choices began with my initiative or of "seeking the Lord." It's a miracle I've come this far. Through these years I've flirted with the gospel yet never fully embraced the path of death to life, the cost of discipleship.
Trinity marks the first time I have followed clear direction from God. Perhaps it is not that I have gone "into the wild" (see my second August post), but rather that I have discovered YHWH's "way in the wilderness" (Isaiah 43). It is the years of wandering that have the character of wilderness, not this most recent venture. Though risky, this step of following has begun to bring order to my personal chaos.
This past Sunday an intercessor at Ascension shared an image she had while praying for me after Eucharist: sheep being scattered in the absence of a shepherd, cared for in one's presence. She told me to stay close to the shepherd's heart. Given the busyness of the previous week, she was speaking to where I was at. It suggests I must keep the habit that led me here: listen, obey.*
Psalm 95 offers jubilant praise of YHWH's supremacy and genuflected reverence before his humble shepherding as training for the heart to listen and obey. Its audience: the stubborn-hearted people of God. In a word, us. Me. After time spent analyzing it in class yesterday and contemplating its personal implications during our quiet day today, I feel drawn to learn its lesson.
*or, summarizing the shema, "Hear... love."