This first appeared October 8, 2012
It happens every Monday morning.
Every Monday is a restart of our pilgrimage. Every Monday we say, “I want this week to be different. I want to be more committed, more caring, more thoughtful, more loving, more focused, more significant, more successful.”
And then we open our eyes. And shuffle to the mirror. And the words of the psalmist become words in our bathroom: “I call on the Lord in my distress.”
Our resolve and our dreams and our plans run into “lying lips and deceitful tongues.”
Have you heard them yet today? “This food will give you fulfillment, not just fill you up That candidate is the worst. These three simple steps will make your life easy. You will never amount to anything.”
Some come from a screen. Some come from faces we know. Many come from the mirror. All run the risk of derailing us. And when we clear our head (and drink a little coffee) we warn the lying voices:
May the way your words stab my heart be pierced the way a warrior’s arrows find their target. May the way your lies cause fires in relationships and raise the gossip heat be burned away with coals of a broom tree.
The images seem harsh, but no harsher than lies and deception deserve when we consider the disruption they bring to pilgrimage.
Every Monday we start new, we will be challenged. We live in inertia. When we want to change our eating, we are surrounded by food ads. When we want to claim our team colors, we are surrounded by opposing fans. When we want to wage peace, we are surrounded by heckling hate.
But a pilgrimage always starts with one step. In the right direction. Like the people who sing Psalm 120 on the way to follow God.
See also A Long Obedience