Psalm 119:9-19 (MSG)
9-16 How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.
17-19 Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life;
not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your miracle-wonders.
I’m a stranger in these parts;
give me clear directions.
My daughter Amy is about to go into 6th Grade. Our church has a wonderful program for kids called Konnect, where the kids practice small group community and discipleship while being mentored by caring and creative leaders.
Last night was the the last night for her 5th Grade group. Now Amy will transition into the Middle School youth group, called MidSwitch. It’s scary and exciting.
The teaching last night was all about packing for the journey—the rest of her life. Psalm 119 is in my quiet time reading this morning and these verses, and this translation, struck me as an affirmation of that word picture from last night.
We are on a journey into the rest of our lives. In one way, the Word is a road map for that journey—if we’ll consult it, rather than improvising on our own (only learning things the hard way). Or emulating others who are improvising on their own (the blind leading the blind).
I have a burden and a vision:
The burden is a worry that this youngest generation will not escape the confusion of voices that permeate our culture. That they will face the multitude of choices before them without the discernment and knowledge they need to navigate their lives. One of the prevailing elements in the Millennial world view is a scary moral equivalence that stands in stark contrast to the revelation of scripture. To many in this generation, there is no such thing as absolute moral truth. There is only understanding and misunderstanding, tolerance and intolerance. (This is, after all, a generation raised on the Sesame Street idea that there are no real monsters, only puppets who are…different.)
The vision is that wise shepherd-teachers—like the men and women in Konnect who’ve nurtured Amy to this point, and those in Switch (the youth ministry) who’ll take the baton now—will powerfully model what a Christ-follower looks like and how they behave and how they’re equipped.
I am praying for those young leaders now, that they will have roots in the scriptures and wings in the Spirit and that they will be overtaken by a passion to inspire Amy and her generation to seek God’s best—his truth, his love, and his power—using the scriptures as their personal road map to the rest of their lives.