Tools for Every Season of the Soul
The Psalms are some of the most beloved parts of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. The Psalms capture the vast array of human emotions, desires, and passions – thankfulness, joy, sorrow, grief, doubt, anger, and love. For thousands of years, people have experienced the raw, authentic presence of God in the vulnerability of the Psalms. These ancient writings teach us something about who we are and what it means to relate to God in a raw way.
Eugene Peterson describes the Psalms as tools for being and becoming.
Every distinctive human behavior requires tools: farming, loving, cooking, learning, building, believing. Some tools are made of wood, some of metal, some of words. A tool that is made of words is no less a tool than one made of steel. Prayer is a tool that is made, mostly, of words.
Prayers are tools, but with this clarification: prayers are not tools for doing or getting, but for being and becoming. In our largely externalized culture, we are urgently presented with tools that enable us to do things (a machine, for instance, to clean the carpet), and to get things (a computer, for instance to get information. We are not so readily offered tools that enable our being and becoming human.
For the tool-making, tool-using creatures who venture into the ocean depths of being and journey into the wilderness frontiers of becoming, making and being made into eternal habitations, the Psalms are the requisite toolbox. (Peterson, “Answering God”)
Join us this summer as we experience the beauty of these ancient prayers and allow them to form our lives. If you want to go deeper in this series on the Psalms, download our Going Deeper Guide for suggestions on how to learn and experiment with the material.