"He restoreth my soul"
Each Sunday, when I awake, I think to myself that I'd really rather not go to Church. Then my wife, with her cheerful nature, cajoles me, and I go.
It used to be nearly every week I would go and hear something which would admonish me, not in a hurtful way, to be a better person. It would remind me to be charitable, or forgiving, or more patient, often all of the above.
Today, I got the chance to speak with someone who I think found me, prior to today, to be just a little odd. But then, I told her of a story whereby I was speaking with a friend who said that atheists have insufficient proof of the lack of God, and further, discount the abundant proof of God. I reacted to this comment from my friend to remind him that the meaning of faith is the belief in something without proof. Those in the bible who believed based on the words of Christ were seen as abundant in faith, those who required proof, as ones still in doubt. I told the person I was telling the story to that I reminded my friend that many theological scholars consider the requirement of proof to be blasphemy. Her reaction was to ask me whether I'd ever considered the seminary, or had attended it. I told her I had considered it, but not attended. Her meaning was clear, she finally saw a person of faith, and with it, someone she could respect. I am thankful to God for the opportunity to be faithful, but admonish myself for my pride and for embarrassing my friend. I am reminded that nearly every time I go to Church, I come away a better person - my soul restored by the humanity God so clearly put in place for us to find.
"He Maketh a table in the presence of mine enemies, you annoint my head with oil, my cup runneth over."
I am presented nearly daily the opportunity to discuss with people who I strongly disagree with, the challenges of life, and the challenges facing our country. I often am satirical, often am cynical, too often I am insulting. I am very often angry. When I react in this way, I am treating those people as they treat me. I doubt very much this is what God asks of me. It is my challenge to walk in a path of compassion and patience, to find understanding, rather than to seek to embarrass.
"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the lord forever."
If I/we can do so, then we will show the unilateral and unconditional mercy of Christ and walked in his path. By this will we bring forth the grace of God, and heaven will follow. I chose to instead of showing scorn, to seek to love my neighbor in the manner I ask to be loved by God. I ask forgiveness for my pride, and guidance this day.