O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore. Psalm 131
Wendy's ran a commercial this holiday season that beams in on three or four Wendy's workers looking over at a patron with a white beard and hair, wearing wire-framed Santa-ish glasses sitting alone at a table and drinking a Frosty. One says to the others, "That's definitely him!" Another says, "Dude, that's just a guy taking a break with a peppermint frosty." The first is undeterred. "I gotta ask him." He strides over to the table and confidently asks, "Hello. Mind if I sit?" And when the Frosty guy nods, the curious one sits right on his knee. It's awkward. But, hey, what if it's really Santa?
Our psalmist is not so aggressive. He lets God know that he's not too proud or pushy. He's not distracted by things beyond his reach. Instead he has "calmed and quieted my soul," and then he makes a comparison. He feels "like a weaned child with its mother" -- not desperate for nourishment or urgent for anything, but simply present there on her mama's knee. Contented. Still.
Thursday, January 12 is not a remarkable day. We've just come from a string of strangeness, with floods wreaking havoc in Cali and computer systems going whack at the FAA, and a football player needing CPR right there on the field of play. Tomorrow, we're heading into a "Friday the 13th" and a holiday weekend. But today, between that past runaround and the undefined future, we have a gifted moment -- a chance to feel ourselves like weaned children on God's knee.
There are times to chase out our urgent curiosities and check out Santa prospects. But wise women and men of faith know that we're built to need stillness, too. I've shared Psalm 131 with the devo family before, but it really ought to come 'round into our scripture repertoire once in a while, simply for its calm call to the quiet. My favorite musical setting is by John Michael Talbot, a contemporary Franciscan monk and classical guitarist. His song is a beautiful way to start our day with a stop on the quiet island of Thursday, January 12. HERE IT IS -- a melody for weaned souls.
Prayer -- God of peace, we run and flail, we worry and reach, and then you call us to the quiet. We want to rest in your quiet, in Jesus. Amen.