I've been meditating on Psalm 23 the last few days. I like the HCSB version of the very familiar opening passage:
The Lord is my shepherd; there is noting I lack."There is nothing I lack!" How completely dead set against our cultural conditioning does this statement, this attitude, run.You will not be a useful participant in our need-based economy with an attitude like that!
But seriously, how would such an attitude change the way I live my life? Wouldn't I be more grateful to God? Wouldn't I be more willing to take risks? Do I really believe that there is nothing I lack?
Well. I'm just wondering. It puts me in mind of something Peter wrote. "You have everything you need," he told the recipients of his 2nd pastoral letter, "for life and godliness."
The great Bible translator J. B. Phillips gives us, instead of this religious-sounding phrase, life and godliness, "the truly good life."
There are a lot of definitions of the good life swirling around us, coming at us with the purpose of encoding insatiable need into our very psyches. This behavioral coding is the true "American Way." But Jesus the Good Shepherd offers a radical alternative.
I finish with this, which somehow seems appropriate: