(This was first published October 11, 2011. We got called out of town Thursday afternoon, so I’m reposting. I’ll finish the Philip story next week.)
I’m finding, as I age and as I multi-task and multi-think and multi-network, that I remember less and less. This is a pain.
Sometimes, of course, it’s not critical to my work. For example, I forgot where Argentina was until I made a graphic for my boss. Who will be in Argentina next week. But it’s okay to not always know where it is.
However, it IS a problem when I want to remember things that are central, people that are important, stories that guide. So I try to make reviewing simple.
I’m guessing that’s what happened with whatever lyricist wrote Psalm 114.
There were stories core to the people of Israel: Egypt, Red Sea, Jordan River, water from a rock, Jericho. These stories take up four of the first five books of the Bible. They are rich and complex.
And the writer captures them in 97 words:
When Israel came out of Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back;
the mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
Why was it, O sea, that you fled,
O Jordan, that you turned back,
you mountains, that you skipped like rams,
you hills, like lambs?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool,
the hard rock into springs of water.
It covers who God is, who Israel is, and even a repeated review of the parting of the waters. There’s even the playful poetic imagery.
This weekend, take a few moments and list the points where your story and God’s intersect. A simple short list. And then write a short summary.
And sing it regularly. Like Psalm 114.