Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Like many before me who have turned to the 27th Psalm, I found myself stuck at verse 4. "One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after..." As I tried to pull myself loose and move on, I thought about Jesus telling a host who was too busy, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing..." (Luke 10:41-42) And, I remembered, too, the would-be-disciple who turned away after hearing Jesus say, "You lack one thing..." (Mark 10:21) While it seems we often have trouble with the one thing mentality lifted up by the Word, the Psalmist appears to have it figured out.
The one thing for David was being in the presence of the Lord. "One thing I asked...one thing I seek...to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life..." Presence. Being in the presence of God. This is the one thing of value to the man who prays this prayer. Too often in our prayers, we get hung up on the things we want God to do, the things we want Him to give, or the spiritual blessings we seek to become a better Christian. Confessing that God and God alone is not enough may be a hard thing for us to do, but it is where many of us as praying believers get stuck.
I remember to this day from my seminary days a professor of theology named Claude Thompson. He came to class those two quarters with a sharp mind and a body being ravaged by cancer. The second quarter he also came with a wheel chair. But, he came. He continued to come. I know he laid down a foundation for good theology with his teaching, but mostly, I remember the things not in text books that I learned by just being in his presence those hours. What I learned from being where he was while he was being faithful to God's call on his life was a blessing far beyond any I would have thought to ask. Surely, such blessings in an even greater way come to us by seeking the Presence of God and nothing more.