“My heart is not lifted up, O Lord, my eyes are not raised too high. I do not occupy myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 131:1-3)
The great temptation of our culture is to move “up and to the right.” The only problem with that is that Jesus calls us to do the direct opposite. While we are more concerned with up, high, and great; he is more concerned with down, low, and least. Life in the kingdom is about the trajectory of our lives matching the trajectory of his, yet few seem willing to really do that.
How do we wean our souls from this obsession to being bigger and greater and more? Maybe the same way King David did it—by prayer. Maybe when we let the words to this ancient prayer seeps down into the core of our being, it changes us. It makes us want the things God wants and makes us pursue the things that he pursues. For only then can we ever hope to be set free from acting out of ambition and need, and be able, instead, to begin acting out of humility and love.
O Lord, help me never to get too full of myself. Help me to stop trying to climb higher and become bigger. Those are not the things of your kingdom, but the things of this world. And I want to be like you, not like them. Have mercy on me, O Lord, and give me the courage to join you on the downward journey. Amen.