“My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned…” (Psalm 39:3).
One of the great losses of our increasingly instant and distracted culture is the gift of musing. How many hours of musing have been sacrificed to scrolling on Facebook, or have been lost as the phone rings, the email pings and the doorbell tings? These days musing has had to become an art form, something which is repackaged and sold to us under the brand of Mindfulness. These days it seems that only men of a certain age lean on a gate and stare.
Three thousand years ago David was engaged in the silent practice of musing, and found his heart being warmed. He did not flee from his thoughts into noisy distractions but faced them, and dwelt on them in the conscious presence of God. Concerns turned to prayer, confusions were expressed and all was spoken out to God. HIs was a life which was well examined, and well considered. Not for David a thoughtless drift towards the grave.
Centuries later, George Matheseon - the blind Scottish minister who penned “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” dwelt on this verse of David. I can do no better than leave you with the words he wrote as he pondered this glorious mystery:
O my soul, wouldst thou have thy life glorified, beautified, transfigured to the eyes of men? Get thee up into the secret place of God’s pavilion, where the fires of love are burning. Thy life shall shine gloriously to the dwellers on the plain. Thy prayers shall be luminous; they shall light thy face like the face of Moses when he wist not that it shone. Thy words shall be burning; they will kindle many a heart journeying on the road to Emmaus. Thy path shall be lambent [gleaming]; when thou hast prayed in Elijah’s solitude thou shalt have Elijah’s chariot of fire.