Most of us are familiar with the 23rd Psalm. We have no doubt heard it read at a funeral.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
That is the King James version, and although the language is poetic, it is sometimes hard to understand what it means. And because we are so familiar with the words, sometimes it is hard to hear a fresh word for us today.
Here is the 23rd Psalm, but in a Japanese translation (Toki Miyashina):
The Lord is my Pace-setter, I shall not rush;
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness,
which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency
through calmness of mind,
and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things
to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here;
His timelessness, His all importance,
will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal
in midst of my activity,
By anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility,
my cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness
shall be the fruits of my hours,
for I shall walk, in the pace of my Lord
and dwell in His house forever.
Friends, may this fresh new reading speak to you today.
May you walk without rushing or fretting, but allowing God to set the pace.
May you find refreshment and renewal, harmony and joy,
this day and all of your days, and even forevermore.
-- The Rev. Dr. Donna Giver-Johnston Pastor Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon 7501 Church Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15202 (412)761-1233
The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too. ~St. Teresa of Avila
I dwell in possibility. ~Emily Dickinson