Why are you downcast, my soul? Put your hope in God.
Awake, my soul.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
I'm in a bit of a stalemate. A little bit of a slouch. A little bit of a valley. It's not dark, it's not scary, it's not super difficult. It's just kind of....bleh.
I don't wake up well in the morning, and when I do, I tend to fall back to sleep.
My room is a disaster and I avoid cleaning it.
I'm behind and I cannot focus for more than 5 minutes to get any of my Navigate reading done.
Things are messy and undone and my answer to productivity has been to sleep or turn on the tv.
This is not me.
David commanded his soul to hope. He commanded his soul to wake up, to rest, to praise. I want to command my soul, but I don't really feel like it. Could someone please command me to command my soul? Or command my soul for me?
On the way to work this morning, I turned on Bless the Lord - I often pick music in the car that I hope will 1) wake me up 2) put me in an attitude of praise for the day 3) get me focused on God.
My thoughts are often drifting and distracted, but I at least try to control the background music. And sometimes it works - even if just for the 15 minute car ride.
Today, as the song was building up to the glorious part where the music cuts out and the harmonies yell out, "BLESS THE LORD, OH MY SOUL!" and my soul was starting to listen and respond, I had to bring my car to an almost complete stop as I let 2 beautiful deer cross the road right in front of me onto the Seminary's campus.
Deer are my sign - some people have rainbows, red balloons, shooting stars, dolphins - things that they are especially sensitive to that, cheesy as it may seem, always seem to come at the perfect time and remind them of God's presence and love in a particular moment. When I go home, I beg for deer. There are a few places, on the back roads of South County, that I frequently seen them, or have had to stop for them in the past. For some reason, I remember those exact places and my heart kind of begs God to see them each time I drive by. I really don't see too many deer in Massachusetts - especially crossing the street in the daylight. I also don't often find myself in a place here where I feel like I need to beg for deer. But this morning, in a place where I was commanding my soul to praise the Lord and my soul was responding, rather than trying to command God to reveal Himself to me, He did just that.
I can't say that i've been good at commanding my soul all day today. It has been slow and I haven't had much work to do. I'm dreaming of Thanksgiving and my mini vacation and the moment when my room will be clean and my feet will be warm on someone else's heated bathroom floor. It's work. It's exercise to command my soul. Right now, it wants nothing more than to just be lazy and complacent and stay in this slump. Ice cream on the couch with 3 hours of tv sounds great to my soul right now. Snuggling up for a nice long nap sounds good right now. But I was encouraged this morning. When I command my soul to praise the Lord, my Lord responds and receives the praise. And my soul is lifted.