I’ve been wandering aimlessly recently. So many good projects, so many good causes, so many good books. While wandering I’ve been unsettled, feeling like whichever way I decide to go I only get to a roadblock. Often I find myself just sitting in the path crying, “God, what is it you want me to do?” All of this has once again brought me back to delight in the Lord, reaching for his desires in my heart.
I went a step further and considered the next verse in Psalm 37, “Commit everything you do to the Lord, Trust him, and he will help you” (vs 5). I have a tendency to use this verse as an excuse to ask God to bless the plans I have, rather than wanting and waiting for the good he has in mind for me.
I look back at my journal and I ask God to be the center of what I do. I see now that is all wrong. I need to be at the center of what he is doing.
That does sound very spiritual and heaven-minded, but how does being at the center of what God does look everyday? I’m not sure it means quietly meditating all day long or spending much of the day reading scripture. If that is what God is leading you to do, go for it. Those activities didn’t settle well in my soul or, quite frankly, my pocketbook.
About two weeks into my search for God’s desire, for the way for me to delight myself in him, I began to read once again St. Augustine’s Confessions. Right there in the first book, first writing was the answer.
The thought of you [God] stirs him [humans] so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and out hearts find no peace until they rest in you.
This section is accompanied with Ps. 22:26, “The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever!” (NIV, emphasis added) Whoa. What does that say again? “Those who seek the Lord will praise him.”
If I’m to know God’s plans for me, the desires he puts in my heart, I must praise him. I will find God in my praise.
According to Noah Webster in his 1828 Dictionary of American English, delight is “a high degree of pleasure, or satisfaction of mind; joy.” He adds, “Delight is a more permanent pleasure than joy, and not dependent on sudden excitement.” When we are told to delight ourselves in the Lord, it means, “to have or take great pleasure; to be greatly pleased or rejoiced.”
For some, this kind of delight does come with hours long meditation or reading the Bible or even retreating away from the everyday world. I’ve learned that delight is found in praising God, my Lord. When I do that I’m at the center of what he made me to do—worship him.
I can tell you that my path became clearer as to what project to go forward with, what to drop. I can also tell you that I managed to leave the trail that God has so carefully mark for me. I forgot to praise him. How easy it is. I ended up where he didn’t want me to be. (I know, God, that’s what you told me in the first place, right?)
Now that I’m seeking him once again in my praise, the path is opening up. I’m finding his desires right where God left them for me—in praise.