Sunday, June 2, 2013

Word Drinking

Word drinking. It's a lifestyle. When you soak in words far past the obvious and dig straight to the simple depth of a phrase. Then you let it sit there and mix with your soul. You can find truth, beauty, and a pathway.  And when you take the time to walk down that path you will find yourself face to face with another whose heart is searching and with whom you find much in common. If you walk a little farther and around a bend, you too will find pathways of your own where words and ideologies grow and bloom along the way. Humanity. Expression. Longing. This is the journey of self-actualization.

My fingers leaf through the see-through pages of my pocket-sized, stitches coming loose, brown leather version of the Good Book and I know what I'm looking for. My page-thumbing is intentional. I'm looking for those soul-open words of the Psalmist. And the moment I mention the poet, your mind leaps to the image of an emotional wreck of a writer. That's true. David was searching and walking down his own pathways and watching the seeds of his thoughts sprout, grow, and burst with color all around him. He let it out! This guy was going somewhere, he was on a journey.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger - so why should I tremble? When evil people come to destroy me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will know no fear. Even if they attack me, I remain confident. The one thing I ask of the Lord - the thing I seek most - is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord's perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high, above my enemies who surround me. At his Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. 
Listen to my pleading, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, "Come and walk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming." Do not hide yourself form me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don't leave me now; don't abandon me, O God of my salvation! Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the path of honesty, for my enemies are waiting for me to fall. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I've never done and breathe out violence against me. Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." (Psalm 27 NLT)
David is walking his own pathway here. He's already drank the words of promise in (Psalm 23) and now he's claiming them and working out what those mean in his own life. He's coming to a place of conviction! Self-actualization, or maybe more accurately, a Theistic view of self-actualization: his existence defined by the Father.

Conviction is essential to survival and ultimately to thrive. It's a journey. It involves vulnerability, connection, and deep word drinking. Searching out and holding onto our beliefs is a beautiful pathway of learning more about others who have walked the path and coming to a place where you define what makes life worth living and who we are at our core and how this will seep into the lives around us.