My heart is not proud, O Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.
Long ago I realized that there are things in the world that we are not meant to understand. Certainly there are many things beyond the understanding of my little brain. There are even things that are beyond the understanding of our most brilliant scientific minds. But many of them spend their lives pondering, examining, and researching anyway. They are responsible for new ideas, discoveries, inventions, and gadgets that sometimes improve our lives. As we begin this new year I’m curious about what will exist by 2011 that is just a thought or notation or sketch on someone’s notebook today. I’m curious about what will be introduced to us that our great-grandchildren will take for granted. Things too wonderful for me to imagine.
However, and you know there is always a “however” in any of my posts about progress, I hope we don’t put aside too many of the old ways in order to keep up with the new. I have noticed in the past couple of years that in spite of our new ways to communicate many people are actually saying less to more people. And in spite of our conveniences we seem to be busier than ever. In spite of what we already have, all that many people want is just more.
Somehow more has been equated with better. But at the root of everything is still the desire to be happy and loved. That’s what people have wanted for generations. We can’t escape the basic nature of our human needs no matter how much our society progresses. I’m a huge Star Trek fan because even at warp speed there is still greed and jealousy and love and compassion. The writers didn’t create a fantasy of perfect humans somewhere in our future!
Perfection. Is that what we hope our inventions and gadgets will help us achieve? Will we be better people if we have better things? I have stilled and quieted my soul. Worry plagues so many people, especially women. We worry about what we have and don’t have. We worry about how we look. We worry about our children and spouses, parents and friends. We worry about what has happened and will happen and might happen. I think the message of Psalms 131 is that we are not only to be at peace about the things we don’t understand, but to give everything over to the wisdom of God. A weaned child trusts in the ability of his mother to still provide for him.
I bought two books yesterday, “Daughters of the Earth- The Lives and Legends of American Indian Women”, and “All the Women of the Bible”. I find that by studying the lives of women of the past I gain a better understanding of the women in my own life. These historical figures managed to raise their families and live their lives without cell phones and dishwashers and daycare. They made mistakes. They made sacrifices. They suffered. But many of them also lived lives of dignity and joy, peace and satisfaction. Some had careers. Some made tremendous contributions to society.
What we do with our lives isn’t based on what we have, no matter how wonderful it is, but on who we are within our soul.
Have a blessed day!