At the national prayer service, following Trump’s inauguration. Ronnie Floyd read Psalm 23, invoking God’s blessing upon our nation. The events of this past week remind me that “Me First!” can easily pervert a genuine reflection upon God’s goodness to me into a Psalm of Privilege:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
If the other flocks weren’t so lazy and unmotivated to help themselves, they wouldn’t be so lacking, either.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
I am unnerved by the eager eyes watching as I enjoy the benefits of a carefully managed pasture. I’m thankful for the brands that validate our rights and the fences that keep them from overrunning what we’ve worked hard to develop.
he leads me beside quiet waters,
As we frolic in the water and I see the stream carry waste away, I am thankful that I live as far upstream as I do.
he refreshes my soul.
It’s nice to be able to close ones eyes for a while and forget the troubles that seem to multiply in other pastures.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
I am the beacon that illuminates the right paths to the nations of the world. Why do they despise me?
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Since God is on my side, and absent from their’s . . .
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
. . . you’ve provided the drone and missile for my security.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
I am surrounded by enemies. But, you have made an abundance from the globe available for me. Surely they must recognize your special relationship with me.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Oil has become as plentiful as grain. So plentiful have you made it, that I give little thought to it’s resources. You have made work and pleasure abound because of it.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I take for granted that your goodness and love, made manifest in the creation around me is unshakeable. Therefore, I don’t give adequate attention to what you expect or desire of me.
with cautionary examples inserted of what it can become, if we do not guard our hearts.