The Christian life is about a muscle. Simon Vay said that the only way we can love people is if we know how to pay attention. The most generous thing we can give to somebody who is suffering is we pay attention to them. And she said it is very rare in our culture and difficult to pay attention to a suffering person because we are so bad at it. We would rather give them money and move on. So the center of this Christian life is this idea of paying attention.
The question I want you to ask you is: Am I paying attention to God? In other words, am I growing that muscle? Right now in your life are you growing that muscle, or are you distracted? In a sense, that muscle is diminishing. It is growing weaker and smaller. I know many people that used to read books that no longer read books; it takes too much concentration. They only read blogs and summaries of artists. There’s no kind of attention span anymore.
So Psalm 23 is an incredible psalm. It’s a psalm about paying attention to God, who pays attention to us. David had a lot of hardship. He went through civil wars, betrayals, adultery, king, shepherd, warrior. But somehow he was a man after God’s own heart that paid attention. He had developed that muscle.
Now, this is a poem. Psalms are poems. If you’re an artist here, it’s art. This is not meant to be read like you read the newspaper. This is poetry, this is music; this is song; this is verse; this is meant to be pondered and meditated on. What I want you to do is as we are reading is I want you to underline or circle phrases or words that stand out to you, that touch your heart. It might be the words, “still waters.” Or maybe it might be the “deepest valley.” ...
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