I’ve just started reading Slow Lane for the second time. You can read an earlier post about this book here. The first time, as much as I tried to read slowly and enjoy it, I buzzed through it, knowing I’d come back to soak in it later. I’m only in the first few pages but am so enjoying it. This kind of book feels like dessert to me – when I sit down to enjoy it, I want to have the time to savor it.
This morning I’ve been working through only one question about Psalm 23 and have found so much more here than I anticipated. The question: “Read Psalm 23. How does it invite slowness to your heart and soul? How can you allow God to be your Shepherd today? Picture yourself in these verses and imagine the slowing.” I’ve never studied this passage before in relation to slowing and rest. I’m not sure why, because it’s everywhere in these short six verses. So beautiful. I’ve inserted what I noticed in between the verses.
Psalm 23 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
– assumes contentment and peace – I have all that I need = slow
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
– rest for the body = slow
He leads me beside still waters.
– not in a hurry – time to enjoy a beautiful walk – time to enjoy life = slow
3 He restores my soul.
– restoration begins with rest = slow
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
– I’m not panicked or scared, but peaceful = slow
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
– God is the shepherd and the one in charge – I don’t have to worry = slow
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
– I am a guest at God’s house – sharing a meal = slow
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
– peace, comfort, contentment = slow
One of my favorite songs is based directly on Psalm 23. Listen, and may it bless and comfort you today!
“The House Of God, Forever”
God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting
He makes me rest
In fields of green
With quiet streams
Even though I walk
Through the valley
Of death and dying
I will not fear
Cause you are with me
You are with me
Your shepherd’s staff comforts me
You are my feast
In the presence of enemies
Surely goodness will follow me
In the house of God forever