Have you ever taken something familiar or even very traditional, and made it your own?
One of the spiritual practices that Smith gives in ‘Good and Beautiful God’, is to recite Psalm 23 every night at bedtime for a week. It was probably at least four years ago that I first led a group through this exercise. I found it quite comforting, a bit of tucking myself in to sleep. I didn’t stop at the end of the week. In fact, the habit has continued for many years now, only I found the psalm began to take on its own life. As the spiritual truths of the psalm became more real to me, the words began to change. I began to make it my own. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful freedom as I’ve played with the phrasing. Crazy… but maybe a bit like a jazz singer massaging a standard hit! I’ve had many versions over the years.
In the middle of last night, I found myself once again with Psalm 23 and had the idea that it was time to share it with you.
The Lord is my Shepherd. I have everything I need.
You take me to the ocean and forests.
You restore my soul.
I walk hand in hand with you, and your goodness flows into the world.
Even when I walk through The Valley of The Shadows, I’m not afraid
for you are with me, to guide and comfort me.
When people betray me, desert me,
you are there.
You notice me, nourish and nurture me.
I feel so full of your loving presence. Anointed.
You flow through me.
For sure, I will live within your goodness and mercy
every day of my life.
I will rest within your Presence all my days.
I began by using the traditional words, again and again. Slowly as the months went by and the truth of the scripture began to sink into my heart, shaping it, the words began to change. Perhaps my current rendition will inspire you to stay with this psalm, and eventually to play with it and make it your own.
If this is interesting to you, please show support by sharing it with a friend. Let’s broaden the contemplative pathway.
Love and prayers
Mystic in Motion
Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada