Psalm 34:1,4,6,7 –
- I will extol the Lord at all times
- His praise will always be on my lips.
- He delivered me from all my fears.
- he saved him out of all his troubles.
- and he delivers them.
We often hear Christians using the term "being saved," an expression that signifies the eternal dimension of life after death and the relationship of "being in the Lord." But there is also a here-and-now dimension.
Just a few days ago I was involved in an accident. To mail a letter I stopped my truck and engaged the parking brake. To save time, I left the engine running. While mailing that letter the truck's parking brake released, and while trying to get into the vehicle, I was caught between the truck and a stopped car.
I am very grateful.
"Grateful?!" you may reply. Strange though it be, yes. Grateful because it could have been far worse. Rather than damaging the back of a car, the truck could have gone into the intersection and struck a car in the side, or, worse, continued on into a school area where the elementary children were just leaving their classes. The thought of my truck maiming or killing one or more children still sends chills down my spine. As for my body, I have a clean break in the small bone of my leg. It will likely heal in 6 weeks.
Grateful, too, for the opportunity to slow down a little. I, like most of us, am a very busy guy. Starting two businesses, involved in a number of community groups, developing friendships, and living the rest of life takes lots of time and energy. In my busyness, I find it difficult to take stock of what I am doing, and who I am. I have often remarked that Time has become my god.
Slowing down and being present in the here and now (not in the past or the future) is a wonderful gift. It makes life truly meaningful. Then I can honestly say I am able to "extol the Lord at all times" because I am not living for some other time.
Being "saved," I believe, means not only that my truck didn't kill anybody (truly an Old Testament concept of "salvation") and that I will one day will have the full functioning of my leg, but that because of this accident I am able to stop fearing for the future and trust in the God who is present with us now.
Prayer: Thank you for saving us from ourselves, from the gods of time and money, so that we might taste and see that you are good. Slow us down, that we might look to you, lose our fear, and lack nothing. Amen.