Editor’s note: Today we welcome Barbara Hosbach to the New Evangelizer’s blogging team!
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do. Psalm 1: 1-3 (GNT)
I joined “those who have no use for God” during my college years. Listening to God didn’t sound like much fun at the time. I did things my way. I thought that would guarantee happiness. Instead it let me down. When pain brought me to my knees, I turned back to God. He was waiting for me with open arms. Instead of fun, God offered me joy.
As far as studying God’s law day and night, Jesus said the most important laws were loving God with all our being, loving our neighbor, and loving ourselves. That gives me plenty to reflect on. I can’t think of a single conflict with others or internal struggle I’ve ever had that can’t be traced back to my neglecting one or more of those.
Like a tree growing beside a stream? I can tell you that since I’ve recognized my need for God and have started spending even a little time each morning in prayer, I have increasing peace in my life. The fruit I have to share is the story of my mistakes and limitations and God’s unconditional and limitless love.
Succeeding in everything I do? That depends on what you call success. I’m gaining a sense of who I really am instead of who I thought I was supposed to be. Jesus warned against gaining the whole world and losing our own selves. If a more honest sense of self counts as success, I guess I’m succeeding.
What about you?
When have you followed the example of those who have no use for God? When have you rejected their advice? How did things turn out in each case? Think of a time you found joy in doing what you felt was right, even though it seemed beyond you at the time. Looking back, can you see that God gave you all you needed to do what you felt called to do? Are you feeling “dried up” today or refreshed and replenished? What can you do in either case? What will success look like for you today?
I invite you to read this psalm through on your own and reflect on whatever phrase or idea might speak to you at this moment in time. I welcome comments if you’d care to share your reflections. Peace and good.
Copyright 2015, Barbara Hosbach