Bob and I were enjoying a nice, quiet summer night walk through the neighbor one evening. Our older street doesn’t have the best lighting so naturally it was dark as we picked our way along some of the crumbing sidewalks. Suddenly I stopped when I say something moving slowly in the grass as we passed, and thinking it was a wounded animal or bird, we looked at it a little more intently. As our pupils dilated to let in more light, the image that pounded through the retina and hit the brain was something black with a white stripe down its back.
The brain then gave definite directions.
Unfortunately, we didn’t move quite fast enough, and even more so, we both shouted out in fear
The brain did not fail us. It gave us the correct information; we were just not prepared to know what to do with that information.
Unlike this guy. You gotta admire him on some level:
I’m challenged by this attitude. I’m sorry to admit that I tend to be more on the panic side (as the fragrance on my shoes could attest!) rather than the calm stoic side; that is, learning the (life) discipline of standing firm, being very still, until the threat passes. And I definitely see that here:
“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked.”
I’m long on information. I need more than information; I need wisdom, and the power to put that wisdom into practice. It’s so easy for me to panic about so many things—family, health, finances, world situations, _________. The problem is that when I panic, I tend to do stupid pretty well, which can get quite stinky not only for me, but for those around me. The atmosphere is not conducive to others wanting to be around me. (Especially when I track it into my house, if I can extend the metaphor a bit!)
The psalmist here gives me hope, that the discipline God places on me grants me firm footing when (not if) difficult and scary situations arise, since “the valley of the shadow” is not something we are told to circumvent, but to go through…
…albeit not alone.