O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
(Psalm 63:1-5, NLT)
He opened his session with a sports story. Pretty typical for a men's retreat, but this setup was particularly well-played. He talked about a pro golfer on Wednesday, which is the normal final practice round, hitting greens but being far away from the pin. Somebody watching commented that he must be "off his game". But a wiser commenter noted he was hitting every spot he wanted - and that's where the pins would be placed on Sunday for the final round. Even on Wednesday, he was playing for Sunday.
David did the same thing when he wrote Psalm 63. His vision was long and he found his heart yearning for what was yet to come - that which only God can provide. Oddly enough, he was writing this Psalm in the face of all the activity and swirl of 2 Samuel 15. David was a much older man and was back on the run. This time, the source of his trouble was his own son Absalom. Before I heard this message, I'd never connected those dots at all. It makes the Psalm even more pointed and the longing and desperation for God more rich.
So as we start 2015 with our hopes, dreams and resolutions (many of which will fall away even within the first week), I am reminded of Psalm 63 and and this message I heard. I'm reminded that we are called to live a life with eternity in mind. We are called to deal with the subtle idolatry in our lives that sets something on the throne of our hearts other than the "ultimate thing". And we are called to be desperate for God to the extent that everything else is just perpetually disappointing.
I was reminded just today that the Father stands at the end of the Crooked Path beckoning us home while our Divine brother walks beside us, arm-in-arm, encouraging us and giving us strength for the journey. He urges us to live today with Eternity in sight, for that is where our soul is designed to truly live and flourish.