The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

The Desires of Our Heart

Even more significant than receiving a Bible in first grade here at Wayne Presbyterian Church  (a Bible I still have), was receiving a Bible from my grandparents that my grandfather had chosen and inscribed just days before his death when I was 13.   It is still the most beautiful Bible I have:  a warm red, the softest of leather, with gilt-edged pages. 

Even more important than the Bible’s appearance, however, was the inscription in the front, in ‘Gaga’s’ handwriting:  “For Anne, with the prayer that you will make this book your daily companion.” (Psalm 37:4-5)

Without doubt, Psalm 37 remains one of my favorite psalms.  “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act.”  

I was confirmed soon after receiving this Bible and memorizing this verse.  I stood on the chancel steps in our sanctuary and responded with other confirmands in answer to the first question of the Westminster Confession, “ Q. What is the chief end of mankind?   A. Mankind’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy God forever.” Since that time, Psalm 37 is inextricably connected in my mind to the vows we took as teens when joining the church.

This is a ‘pastoral psalm,’ written to give us clues about the way life should be lived: reliant on human prosperity and power or on the providence of God.  The psalmist indicates that we are to make a choice – to live with faith or without it; to succumb to the pressures of the present or rest in the promise of the future. 

So if we choose God, and God’s promises, what will that look like in our life?  How do we ‘enjoy’ God or ‘delight’ in God?  And if we enjoy God, will God really give us the desires of our hearts? 

Spending this past summer in Sabbath ‘rest’ and reflection, I had many opportunities to enjoy God: in the midst of a storm at the Jersey shore, with waves crashing onto the beach, ‘full of sound and fury;’ in Canada, standing on the edge of Lake Ontario in the beautiful town of Niagara on the Lake, where streets and sidewalks are planted with flowers of every color and kind;  in Paris, amidst the magnificent art and architecture of hundreds of years of religious history. All of this creativity came from God our Creator, and all of it allows us to enjoy God.

I am reminded that we need to be purposeful about our enjoyment of God;  purposeful about turning away from anxiety or anger, boredom or bitterness, and turning to our Creator, looking for ways to take delight in all God gives. 

This isn’t easy when the circumstances of our lives are difficult or painful, but when the desire of our heart is to enjoy God, God responds by giving us joy.

Anne

Posted by Anne Clark Duncan at 12:08 AM
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