Every once in a while I freak out because life is hard and sometimes ironically cruel and I just so desperately want something to make even the slightest hint of sense. But then, I shrug my shoulders, pour myself a glass of wine, turn on a mindless pop song and try to switch back into auto pilot.
The rhythms and routines of daily life are my coping mechanism. Washing the dishes, taking out the trash, driving to work, putting together an applicant's file, all of those things do not require any deep thought, but allow me to focus on their simplicity. To avoid deep thought. Just give me thirty minutes to sit on the couch and I can easily work myself into an existential crisis. My mind is just drawn to pondering the deep things of life. Which is kind of annoying.
One of the routines in my life that I have found immensely calming, while still allowing me to think deeply is my daily devotions in the Book of Common Prayer. Morning, noon, in the early evening, and before going to bed I read through some sort of devotion in the BCP. What I read varies: sometimes I do the full-out morning and evening prayer (well, as much I can do by myself....I can't absolve my own sins :), sometimes I do the shorter one-page devotionals, and sometimes I just read the Psalms. Oh, how I love the Psalms.
If you have ever thought the Bible was boring and stuffy or that God does not have sympathy on us as human beings, please read the Psalms. Today was a great example of how the Psalms so often reach deep into my heart and seem to indicate that God is indeed listening to my prayers. Such comfort. This morning I was feeling more distressed than I have in a while about the direction my life is heading. I will not go into detail, but when I read one of the Psalms for today, in the BCP, a little after noon, I was a little shocked. This speaks directly to what I have been praying over the past few days (and especially today). It strengthens my faith and gives me much comfort to know that God cares even when I am plainly revealing my lack of faith and patience.
Psalm 77: 1-13
I will cry aloud to God
I will cry aloud, and he will hear me
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord
my hands were stretched out by night and did not tire
I refused to be comforted
I think of God, I am restless
I ponder, and my spirit faints
You will not let my eyelids close
I am troubled and I cannot speak
I consider the days of old
I remember the years long past
I commune with my heart in the night
I ponder and search my mind
Will the Lord cast me off for ever?
Will be no more show his favor?
Has his loving kindness come to an end for ever?
Has his promise failed for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he, in his anger, withheld his compassion?
And I said, "My grief is this: the right hand of the Most High has lost its power"
I will remember the works of the Lord
and call to mind your wonders of old time
I will meditate on all your acts
and ponder your mighty deeds
Your way, O God, is holy
Who is so great a god as our God?