Rock Of Ages
But you are always the same, and your years will never end. (PS 102:27)
For the Psalmist, struggling with his own mortality, this word about the nature of God is extremely good news. He knows that no matter no happens to him in his life, or the lives of his descendants, God is the one, eternal constant.
Odd, isn’t it, that we don’t quite share his confidence? We know that our lives change – all the time – and that our tried and true methods of understanding and coping with that change do not always work. This is especially true when we have mistaken our static processes and opinions for the constancy of God. Put another way, we get into trouble when we forget that while God does not change, our relationship with God must and does change.
There was a time in my childhood in which I believed that God only heard my prayers when I got into bed, closed my eyes, and turned my face toward a specific corner of the room. As things go, that was probably a good way of disciplining myself to approach God with regular intention. But if that were the only manner in which I pray today, how could I be in prayerful relationship with the Holy One when the need and desire for prayer arises while I am driving, or kneading bread, or working at my loom?
God has not changed. But I have. And the level of comfort I derive from knowing that God is always and eternally present is beyond any sense of peace or presence that I might know if I were I to limit my prayers to those times when I am the right place with the correct posture and the appropriately focused attention. This does not mean that I no longer say my prayers in bed at night; it simply means that my beginning and end-of-the-day prayers are more like the start and finish my daily dialogue with my Maker.
We can learn a lot from the trust and confidence of the Psalmist. He knew where to find and how to access the anchor of his daily and spiritual life. May we learn to do so as well.