I haven’t been up to a ton lately. School is “officially” over, so only summer classes are coming up. Hopefully, by this time next year, I’ll be graduated. Ashamed as I feel admitting this, in a lot of ways, I don’t feel any smarter. Actually, I feel more incompetent now than ever. I’ve undergone a lot of changes since last year. There are aspects of my old self that I definitely miss. Even my boyfriend is encouraging me to find a passion again.
Still, we can’t always live on the mountaintop, and even I had to come down sometime. When I was just getting well into my descent last year, a lady at youth camp said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. I forget her name (maybe Agnes??), but she gave me contact info, and when I tried to contact her, everyone said nobody by that name lived there, which makes me wonder to this day if she was an angel in disguise. Anyway, what she said was, “Everybody wants to be on the mountaintop. But the valley is fertile. That’s where things grow.”
I feel like at this stage in my life I’m sort of between a winter and a spring. Some things have died for the time being, and other things are starting to crop up. I still have a lot of sorting to do. I’m not perfect. God has given me glimpses of hope, such as Seminary Day, and for those I am grateful. Still, I am keenly aware that I have a long way to go.
I just finished watching the first Chronicles of Narnia movie. I’m going to see Prince Caspian in a little while, so I thought a refresher of the first one might be in order. I still find myself getting choked up, even though I’ve seen the movie about 5 times now (I know, I’m a wimp). But I saw myself in some of the characters more this time, having experienced a lot more since I first saw the movie. I see myself in Edmund, following the trail of life and not ending up where he had hoped–and of course also having screwed up majorly and being keenly aware of it. I see myself in Peter, feeling incompetent to face the challenge with strength. In Susan, I am the one who gets caught up in minutia and sometimes misses the wonder of what is happening. In Lucy, I see a glimpse of characteristics I would like to tap into more deeply–compassion and faith.
The one thing all of these characters have in common is that they keep going. Come to think of it, that’s a characteristic a lot of the Bible heroes have in common, too. Not that they were perfect or never had an off day or nothing to be ashamed of, but that in spite of it, they kept going. So, even though it’s hard for even me to believe sometimes, I want to say this: If you’re still moving–even if it’s just a crawl–you’re still in the care of God. Keep moving. Keep trusting. He’s bigger than we know. He’s more concerned than we can imagine.
After the movie, this reference popped into my head, and considering the content of the first Narnia movie, I think it was a God thing. If we’re like the kids in the movie, this passage relates to us more than we know. I’ll end the post with that, and highlight a portion that really stood out to me.
Psalm 18 (MSG)
1-2 I love you, God— you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
the castle in which I live,
my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.
3 I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
and find myself safe and saved.
4-5 The hangman’s noose was tight at my throat;
devil waters rushed over me.
Hell’s ropes cinched me tight;
death traps barred every exit.
6 A hostile world! I call to God,
I cry to God to help me.
From his palace he hears my call;
my cry brings me right into his presence—
a private audience!
7-15 Earth wobbles and lurches;
huge mountains shake like leaves,
Quake like aspen leaves
because of his rage.
His nostrils flare, bellowing smoke;
his mouth spits fire.
Tongues of fire dart in and out;
he lowers the sky.
He steps down;
under his feet an abyss opens up.
He’s riding a winged creature,
swift on wind-wings.
Now he’s wrapped himself
in a trenchcoat of black-cloud darkness.
But his cloud-brightness bursts through,
spraying hailstones and fireballs.
Then God thundered out of heaven;
the High God gave a great shout,
spraying hailstones and fireballs.
God shoots his arrows—pandemonium!
He hurls his lightnings—a rout!
The secret sources of ocean are exposed,
the hidden depths of earth lie uncovered
The moment you roar in protest,
let loose your hurricane anger.
16-19 But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
20-24 God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God‘s ways;
I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
25-27 The good people taste your goodness,
The whole people taste your health,
The true people taste your truth,
The bad ones can’t figure you out.
You take the side of the down-and-out,
But the stuck-up you take down a peg.
28-29 Suddenly, God, you floodlight my life;
I’m blazing with glory, God’s glory!
I smash the bands of marauders,
I vault the highest fences.
30 What a God! His road
stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
31-42 Is there any god like God?
Are we not at bedrock?
Is not this the God who armed me,
then aimed me in the right direction?
Now I run like a deer;
I’m king of the mountain.
He shows me how to fight;
I can bend a bronze bow!
You protect me with salvation-armor;
you hold me up with a firm hand,
caress me with your gentle ways.
You cleared the ground under me
so my footing was firm.
When I chased my enemies I caught them;
I didn’t let go till they were dead men.
I nailed them; they were down for good;
then I walked all over them.
You armed me well for this fight,
you smashed the upstarts.
You made my enemies turn tail,
and I wiped out the haters.
They cried “uncle”
but Uncle didn’t come;
They yelled for God
and got no for an answer.
I ground them to dust; they gusted in the wind.
I threw them out, like garbage in the gutter.
43-45 You rescued me from a squabbling people;
you made me a leader of nations.
People I’d never heard of served me;
the moment they got wind of me they listened.
The foreign devils gave up; they came
on their bellies, crawling from their hideouts.
46-48 Live, God! Blessings from my Rock,
my free and freeing God, towering!
This God set things right for me
and shut up the people who talked back.
He rescued me from enemy anger,
he pulled me from the grip of upstarts,
He saved me from the bullies.
49-50 That’s why I’m thanking you, God,
all over the world.
That’s why I’m singing songs
that rhyme your name.
God’s king takes the trophy;
God’s chosen is beloved.
I mean David and all his children—
He says we’re worth it. Praise God that He sees more in us than we see in ourselves.