“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19: 14
The final words of the 19th Psalm have always been there with me and go, in so many ways, to the heart of Christian faith and life. Many of you know that I am a middle child, the third of five. I grew in a very loving household, for which I am eternally grateful and I am very close to my four siblings. When I became a man (just a few years ago; I was hopelessly immature even as I became a father at 25), I looked back at my youth and realized that there was a lot of dysfunction and I often played the role of peacemaker, the one who wanted to keep folks happy so that everything would “go right” and “be okay.” I became a people pleaser, something that I have wrestled with and made inroads in, as I have gone through adulthood. And I credit Psalm 19 with my maturing, a passage that I have looked back on often over the years.
Sometimes we must ask ourselves: who are we actually trying to please? Is our calling in life to please family, friends, potential or active employers …? Or is our work in this life to please God and by “pleasing” and looking to God for our cues, guidance, and feedback, will not we tend to fill the lives of those who were previously trying to “please” with our actions, words, etc.?
So, what if our meditations were more often of the One who created us? What if the words that came from our mouths were more often words of praise? And I mean, what if our interactions with the people in our lives were filled with the mindfulness and presence of God? Would that love of, and desire to please God by proclaiming him in word, action, and meditation, not overflow on the world around us? The spillage of service and focus on God would impact family, friends, coworkers, and all that we meet by grounding it in the life of God, our strength and redeemer. My work on this road to pleasing God is a work in progress, that much I can tell you, without hesitation. But our desire to become more the people of God can only make the world, all of our world, and all in it, happier, healthier, and more loving.