March 31, 2009

MARCH 31 – A LIMITED FOCUS

author_portrait

By Grace Magnan, a senior theater and environmental science double major from Minneapolis, Minn.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV) Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL: As I read over this passage, I am struck by the anticipation of the Psalmist. At a time when I am overcome with schoolwork, the numerous other jobs to be done and with no end in sight, I have not been looking ahead with anticipation. There is one verse in the psalm that catches my feelings precisely; “Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you give us success!” Help me!

However, this is only one verse out of 10 where the Psalmist is not praising God and looking forward with anticipation at being with God. Perhaps I need to learn to look forward more. My focus has been so limited to the next due date on my schedule, that I have forgotten to anticipate the future and appreciate my wonderful God.

Have you taken time lately to think about all the wonderful possibilities of being with our Lord?

———-

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever!

Let Israel say,
‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.

»

«

Comments (7)

  1. Dear Grace,
    I So needed to hear this! You, the Holy Spirit, and the Psalmist wrought some sort of profoundly beautiful collusion (a pagan might call it alchemy), such that your observations immediately spoke to my superficially different, but more or less equally stressed circumstances. Which is exactly what this exercise is Supposed to do.
    You did good. …Free advice: just keep your antenna up! And keep fighting the static. God bless you.

    Jon March 31, 2009 |
  2. good morning, Grace, from cold, snowy Maine! I wanted to thank you for your helpful words. I, too, have been so focused on my next commitment that I have neglected to look at the BIGGER picture in my life…I have left God out of the picture!

    Karen March 31, 2009 |
  3. As I follow the hectic path in my last semester and frantically worry that I won’t have enough time for my assignments, enough brain power for my tests, and energy to follow through on these and my church duties – because added to the busy-ness is Holy Week and Easter and all the preparations that are my responsibility in my parish, this reflection reminded me to stop and give praise for what has been given and trust that also given will be the stamina and whatever else is needed to see me through. Thank you for refocusing my stress.

    Romeyn March 31, 2009 |
  4. Thank you so much for this devotion! I think we are on the same page exactly – I, too, am graduating, and I’m pretty sure I live my life from due date to due date, checklist to checklist. I need to take more time to appreciate my God.

    Whitney March 31, 2009 |
  5. hummm … what is the purpose of the Lent season?
    Jesus did all his “work” for others and the reward was only suffering… Imagine if your exams were being written for someone elses grades and all you got was extreme suffering and humiliation…

    Ann March 31, 2009 |
  6. ‘My focus has been so limited to the next due date on my schedule, that I have forgotten to anticipate the future and appreciate my wonderful God.’
    Your words could have been written by me and they are a wake up call to me as I get ready for the rigors of income tax filing, late end of year report filing and Holy Week as a parttime pastor with a secular job.
    May God bless you and keep us all looking forward with anticipation.
    Thank you

    Karen March 31, 2009 |
  7. Thanks Grace for your thoughts that spoke to me on this day. I have also recently been challenged to “be present” in “today” with an attitude of gratitude. I challenge each of you who are meeting all those deadlines to take a moment each day to “appreciate my
    wonderful God”.

    Nancy March 31, 2009 |