Back in Jr. High, I have this vivid memory of feeling like an outsider and like I didn’t know my place. Have you ever felt that way? If you’re like most people- you probably have felt that way at some point in your life.
Now- Jr. High is awkward for pretty much everybody. You’re getting hair in all these weird places, your voice is changing, and all of a sudden the girls are all a foot taller than the boys.
Well- Jr. High was especially awkward for me! I remember being at summer camp when I was 13 and one of the kids in our cabin sort of looks me up and down and looks really puzzled. Now this kid is a total skater punk. And his best friend was a total skater punk too. And as they look at me, I’m starting to break out in a cold sweat because I’m not sure what’s coming next. Finally, after looking really confused- which wasn’t that hard since I don’t think he was the brightest bulb- he asks me, “So- what are you?” I answered “Umm… a boy?”
“No, no.” “What are you? You’re not a skater or a jock or a loser or a cool kid, so what are?”
I was stunned. Because I wasn’t sure WHAT I was. It was true- I wasn’t a skater or a jock or a nerd or a cool kid. I was just me. And I didn’t have a category. It wasn’t until 3 years later that I figured out what group I belonged to.
When I was 16, I started writing music with a couple of my best friends and we started a band. We actually weren’t too bad! We recorded a couple EPs and a full length CD. I actually still have a couple boxes full of CDs in my basement that my wife keeps trying to get me to throw away.
But it was in high school that I realized that I was a songwriter and that I could connect with God in a whole new way by writing songs to and for him!
Now one of the most famous guys in the Bible is a guy named David. He’s known as a giant slayer, a romancer, a warrior and a king. But I think we often forget that he’s first and foremost a songwriter. That was how he connected with God- by writing these great, very personal songs.
How do you connect with God? If you’re like me- then music speaks to your soul and the right song can get you up and dancing or can bring you to tears.
I love the Psalms because they are these really personal songs. Whatever you are going through- you can find a psalm that speaks to your situation. Happy, sad, fearful, grieving- whatever.
Through the ages, Psalms has been the most urgently, personally present of all the books of the Bible in the lives of many readers.
The book of Psalms its not like a novel. It is a collection, an anthology, a hymnal, a book of songs. We might even think of it as a photo album, full of pictures that show us a variety of places in a land of spiritual experience. Not a novel- such a book will not have a plot. But it may have a plan, and as one sets about explaining the photos, one may well recognize connections and sequences among them.
I’ll be posting some thoughts on the Psalms the next couple of weeks. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!