Today’s Chocolate: Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Forest Mint
Today’s Passage: Psalm 131
David’s back with today’s psalm, which is about getting in touch with your inner child.
When he wrote this psalm, the expression “getting in touch with your inner child” didn’t exist, because the English language didn’t exist. David assembled a new simile to get across the idea of the inner child: “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me” (131:2). And the thing about your inner child is that you have to be the parent to it. When it gets too excited, you have to be the one to compose it and quiet it. David’s soul is leaning against him, cradled in his arms, like he’s a soul-mom.
I’m familiar with this sort of thing, although I’m not the greatest parent to my soul. Just yesterday, I was thinking about how much of growing up is just learning to sleep. The sun goes down but you’ve got things on your mind, on your soul, and you’ve got to get that soul to chill so you can get rested up and actually do those things tomorrow. So you learn to calm your soul down. Through trial and error, you find out how to get to sleep. And like holding an agitated child in your arms, it’s mostly a matter of letting the distress in your soul run its course as you gently and compassionately accept it.
I’m not quite sure how to tie it in with the soul-child simile, but the first verse struck me too. David states: “O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me” (131:1). That middle line is literally “Nor do I go after great matters.” Man, David, don’t mention that one in a job interview! We prize ambition and applaud those who embrace difficulty, but David, even as the King of Israel, knows his limits. Some things are best left to God.
And with the final verse, David encourages his entire kingdom to join him in leaving the biggest things to God. “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever” (131:3), he tells them. He wants to live in a nation marked by its confident expectation that God will deliver on the things that only he can do. He wants to live among people who are good parents to their souls.