Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Psalm 5: Note to self - Remember to ask for help.

Last night Duane and I attended an event for pastors at Pathway Church in Clairemont.  Rich Guerra, the District Superintendent of the Assemblies spoke, and that was great.  But the evening had other significance for Duane and me.

Pathway Christian Fellowship used to be known as Clairemont First Assembly, and that's the church Duane and his family attended when they moved to San Diego in the early 60s.  And that's the church Duane and attended when we got married in 1978.  You could say we grew up there.

And so there were a lot of memories.  Good and bad.

We ate at a little Chinese restaurant we used to go to a lot when we lived in Clairemont, and as we ate, we talked about things we remembered.

The 70s were sort of a mixed bag.
There was a lot of excitement about the Jesus People movement--and a lot of suspicion.  Who were these crazy men with long hair, beards, and bell bottom jeans?  And how about those mini skirts?  Do we welcome these people into our churches?  Do we ask them to change?

So there was a sort of tension between the new and the old.  Between jeans and leisure suits and three-piece suits and ties.

I grew up pretty conservative, but the excitement of the Jesus People was infectious.  I wanted their passion, and I didn't quite find it in ordinary churches.  And yet, we never really left the ordinary church.  But that's another story.

And what about the music?  Guitars and drums.  Do they really belong into the churches?

I loved the music.  It spoke to my heart.  These lyrics seemed to get the heart of my questions and my doubts.  Christian rock was growing in popularity.  Concerts were mostly free.

And that's a very roundabout way of introducing a Psalm, but I was thinking about last night and remembering the 70s and I was thinking about Psalm 5 and remembering  a song from the 70s.  And you may be tired of looking up my links, but again, sometimes the fusion of words with music results in a better depiction of the an idea.

I first heard this song in 1976, although I think it was published before that.  I sat in my dad's music room, which was really a room in the basement where Daddy kept all his tape recording equipment and the amplifiers and the turntable and the other stuff.  And I wore big headphones and listened to this record.

And when I got to this song, I cried.

Here are the lyrics, taken almost directly from the King James Version:
Give ear to my words, O Lord.
Consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God.
For unto thee will I pray.  My voice shalt thou hear in the morning.  
O Lord, in the morning, will I direct my prayer.  Unto thee and will look up.

I don't know.  I think it might have been the first time I cried listening to a song.  For one thing, the author of the song, the man whose voice I was listening to, had died shortly after he recorded the song.  For another, it created an image of a God I had trouble picturing.  A God who listens to me.  Who loves me and who answers my prayers.  It was a long time before I trusted in that God.

Even now I forget to present my requests specifically before God.  And I forget to wait expectantly.  Trusting God to respond.

I don't know why I tend to think God is bothered by my requests.  But I think I'm not alone.  Even now, my default is to try and solve problems on my own.  It drives me nuts.

Note to self:  Remember to ask.  God loves me.

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