Welcoming 2016—Happy New Year!
I spent the New Year’s Eve the way I have spent it in previous years—asleep, alone, oblivious to the sound of firecrackers. December 31st found me inside my room, catching up on sleep, reading random websites, trying if I could finish a Faulkner story ("The Fire and The Hearth" in “Go Down, Moses”), and changing my bed sheets. Outside was balmy, the skies dark, and I got the feeling that it would rain any time. It was the perfect weather for sleep and meditation. The only bad thing was that I had to cancel my tennis appointment. A soaked clay court is no good for bouncing tennis balls.
I loved the solitude inside my dorm room. My roommate was away with his family, so I had all the space to myself and all the silence I needed to think things through. In a way, I am introverted this way—a fact that will amuse even my closest friends. I’m actually quiet when I’m left alone. It was so silent, by the way, that I could hear my stomach grumble, an observation that led me to snack at a nearby convenience store—one of the very few times when I went out.
Psalm 104 was what I’ve been thinking of.
It is a song of celebration and wonder, with the Psalmist blessing the Lord for the wonders of His creation. The writer erupts in superlatives and metaphors. He basks in the awareness that all things that happen on heaven and earth are in God’s control. He relishes the fact of God’s bountiful provisions: the grass for the cattle, the vegetation for man’s labors, the wine which makes men’s hearts glad, making his face glisten with oil.
In the 24th verse, the Psalmist reaches a climax. He exclaims, overwhelmed, in worship, “O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions.” He prays that God’s glory endure forever. As for him, he will sing to the Lord for as long as he lives.
May my heart sing to the Lord as well—in good times and bad. Happy New Year!