Sunday, June 17, 2007

The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives.

--Psalm 37: 23

I take thousands of “steps” each day. Every moment is a step: I think this or that thought, do this or that activity, make this or that decision. I can’t avoid this step-taking process. Even if I sit at home and do absolutely nothing for an entire day, I have taken a step by deciding to sit at home. What this sentence from the psalm tells me, encouragingly and comfortingly, is that all of my steps are organized, managed, directed, guided, and led by the supreme power in the Universe. (Some people call this power God or Allah, but I prefer the Universe.) I don’t have to do any organizing, managing, directing, guiding, or leading, because it’s all been taken care of for me. In a sense, I’m like a child whose every minute has been carefully planned by his parent. The weight of responsibility has been lifted from my shoulders; I have no choice but to relax and follow, step by step, the plans laid out for me. What’s wonderful about this, aside from the total freedom from anxiety, is the realization, as the psalmist says, that the Universe cares for (or “delights in”) me, down to the smallest detail of life. I am an essential part of the Universe. Every aspect of me was created when the Universe was created, and thus I am watched over and protected as carefully as the largest star or the highest mountain or the richest celebrity or the smallest atom. I don’t decide each moment to keep my heart beating and my blood running in my veins. The Universe has made that decision for me, just as it actually makes all the decisions for all the steps of my life. Today, and every day, all I have to do is follow the footsteps that have been carefully laid out just for me for a zillion years.

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