Sunday, February 7, 2021

Psalm 37: Psalm of (Adjusted) Proverbs

Avoid fretting over selfish people;
do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb; 
just as all humans do.

 

But focus on the bigger picture, and do good;

so that you live in simple thankfulness and don’t cling uselessly to transient things in life.

Take delight in that which is transcendent,

and allow yourself to be filled with gladness.

 

Commit your life to focussing outward;

engage with others,

and experience your interconnectedness

with all of Creation and with the Divine.

 

Do nothing from time to time,

and allow yourself simply to be;

do not worry about what others are doing;

do not get wrapped up in the comparison game.

 

Experience your anger but avoid reacting out of it; let go of your wrath.

Do not worry—it won’t accomplish anything beyond exhausting yourself.

Rash actions, motivated by fear, are dangerous.

It is better to be patient so as to act with calm clarity.

 

For selfish, impulsive, and greedy actions

will leave you unfulfilled,

their satisfaction, fleeting.

Delay gratification, and plan for the long-term.

 

Gluttonous people like to mock those seeking to serve others,

denying their own sense of guilt.

But such selfishness eventually

consumes itself.

 

Habitual self-centredness is harmful to others,

blind to the poor and needy, hostile to those trying to help.

Such self-centredness is subtle self-harm,

leaving one cut off from life-giving relationships and community.

 

It is better to value what little you have

than to constantly covet that which you do not,

for coveting leaves one always wanting,

but the satisfied will rest content.

 

Justified are those 

who put the needs of others before their own.

Their selflessness 

will be their legacy.

 

Know that all people will perish;

all are transient as annual plants;

they will vanish away 

like the smoke of an extinguished candle.

 

Loving themselves above all else, selfish people only take,

but generous people will keep on giving, regardless.

Giving and receiving are both gifts

to offer to those around us, in balance.

 

Maintaining contentedness in all circumstances

gives one confidence to move through various circumstances.

Then one is able to persevere through hardship,

moving forward in hope.

 

Now this I have observed in life:

those of both guilt and innocence have been forsaken,

and both the rich and the poor have been forced to beg.

Yet strive for goodness and to be a blessing to others.

 

Obviate the path of evil, and always seek to do good,

so that your good actions may persist forever.

For we must contribute to the justice

we so long to see in this world.

 

Perniciousness breeds death,

but magnanimity brings life.

We must strive to bring life wherever we go,

that life might triumph over death.

 

Quote wisdom,

and speak of justice.

Cherish them in your heart,

and let them guide your actions.

 

Ravenous for power,

the selfish prowl amongst others,

seeking to devour those who are weak.

But what goes around eventually comes around.

 

Survival of the fittest:

rules are coded in our evolutionary past.

But we as humans are fit enough now

to care for the Other.

 

Take notice of the great evils in this world;

you will probably see them always.

But, you, strive for good,

and be an agent of hope in this world.

 

Uphold those who bring good to this world;

they are beacons of hope for a better, more peaceful existence.

Don’t give acknowledgement to those who seek evil;

starve them of the limelight that feeds their egos.

 

Victory for the cosmos is greater wholeness for all;

transcending this present state is the hope that will take us there.

Live like the universe is on your side, willing you to be the best you can be, 

because maybe it is.

 

Welcome to the hazy grey areas of life,

where black or white thinking isn’t enough.

Be prepared to nuance and qualify;

negotiation is your friend.

 

Xenodochy must mark your actions

in a world overcome with xenophobia.

Care for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan;

transcend yourself.

 

Yearn for awe and wonder;

raise your consciousness.

Connect with the bee, the leaf, and the cloud.

Strive to see that which your eyes cannot see.

 

Zealously defend not your freedom or your rights,

but your compassion and integrity.

At the end of your days, may you be blameless,

and may you be filled with joy for the gifts of life that you have selflessly given.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Psalm 15: Admittance Requirements

Who may be admitted into the presence of the Divine?

Anyone

who earnestly seeks the Divine

with humility

and who cares for those in need.

 

Those who do such things

will become aware of the all-present Divine within and without them.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Psalm 69: the cry of one wrongly accused

i am drowning.
i have cried so many tears
that a sea rises round me.
i am faint from struggling
to stay afloat;
my consciousness is waning.

 

the accusations are more

than i can bear.

accusations without cause.

i’m wrongly accused.

o god, you know the truth.

you’ve seen all

that i have done.

protect others from this shame.

may i bear it all for others

and for you.

even my family has abandoned me.

 

i am hated

because i have followed you.

they have rejected you;

therefore, they reject me.

i watch as the gossip spreads

from one to another

to another.

i fear i will become infamous.

 

but i come before you:

in your perfect time,

out of your loving-kindness,

answer me.

rescue me from these deep waters:

my enemies without

and my tears within.

may i not be pulled under,

never to surface again.

 

answer me, o god.

i know your character

is loving-kindness.

mercy, mercy.

turn to me and save.

act quickly.

come near to me,

and rescue me.

set me free.

 

you know what i am experiencing:

the insults,

my shame,

the dishonour,

my enemies,

the despair,

my broken heart.

i have sought relief

and comfort

but found none.

i hunger and thirst

but find only

poison and vinegar.

 

please thwart their designs,

and humble them from pride.

they are preying

on the weak and the wounded.

bring about justice.

i have been shamed and wounded;

i need your protection.

 

under god’s protection,

i will praise god in joy

and offer my hearty thanks.

this will please god

as a living sacrifice.

let those who are oppressed

and brokenhearted

see my living sacrifice

and be encouraged

to seek god,

who will rescue and revive.

for god cares for those in need.

 

let the universe praise god—

all that is, seen and unseen.

for god is one who

saves and rebuilds,

who draws all that is—

you and me—

into health

and wholeness.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Psalm 127: Legacies

A song for coming into the presence of the Divine; concerning enduring legacies.

Unless I come alongside the Divine, joining in the Divine’s activity, all my work will be in vain. For it is only Divine work that endures the tests of time and circumstance. And no work of my own will endure without saturation by Divinity.

But what will my legacy be without a heritage of flesh and blood? What am I building as a woman and not a man?

May I have eyes to see Divine work, creating unique life where it did not exist before. May I join in this work however it occurs, trusting that fulfilment will come when and where I least expect it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Psalm 111.10: Deconstructed Translation of an Instructional Saying for Today

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

all those who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

all those who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of Being is the beginning of wisdom;

all those who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to wisdom;

all those who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to the Spirit of Truth;

all those who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to the Spirit of Truth;

they who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to the Spirit of Truth;

they provide a good understanding.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to the Spirit of Truth;

they provide Meaning for all.

His praise endures forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to the Spirit of Truth;

they provide Meaning for all.

Celebrate his enduring forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to the Spirit of Truth;

they provide Meaning for all.

Celebrate Existence forever.

 

Awe of Being leads to the Spirit of Truth;

they provide Meaning for all.

Celebrate Existence always.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Psalm 46: Seek the Stillness

My eyes bear witness

to the horror before me:

the shifting earth,

the crumbling buildings.

I hear the screeches of terror.

 

I close my eyes

and the world melts away.

I retreat to the centre;

to the ground of my being—

the ground of all being.

 

And there all is still.

And there all is silent.

There chaos turns to peace.

There death turns to life.

Waiting there is God.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Psalm 139: Body Shop of Horrors

To the one who knows me intimately,

who is closer than a whisper,

close enough to hear my heart beat:

 

You know me inside and out.

You know what I’m going to do 

even before I do,

and—honestly—it freaks me out.

 

I’ve tried to run away from you,

but you are always with me—

It’s useless to attempt escape.

 

Am I the creation of your thoughts?

Is your will stronger 

than progenitor mechanics?

My code book rests upon your shelf.

 

You haunt my dreams;

when I awake you are still with me.

I’m caught—a single grain of sand—

in the oceans of your mind.

 

You are my everything.

I cannot bear the thought of you

listening to another’s heart.

Their love for you is in vain—

it is nothing.

 

Take me—

Take all of me—

Until I am annihilated in you.