Behold, the kings of the earth assembled *
and marched forward together.
They looked and were astounded; *
they retreated and fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there; *
they writhed like a woman in childbirth,
like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them. (Psalm 48:4-6)
What does it take to get your attention? What does it take to shake your confidence? What does it take to make you reevaluate the way you’re living your life?
For some people, it’s a natural disaster that flings ships around like toys. For me, it’s a wake up call from people near me whom I trust.
Just as the Psalmist contrasts the terror of the “kings of the earth” with the solidity and glory of Jerusalem’s bulwarks, so in the General Thanksgiving we praise God not only for our creation and preservation in the struggles of life, but also “for the means of grace, and the hope of glory” (BCP 125).
It is possible for us to get back on track, to place our trust where it belongs, to stand on a firmer foundation that we had been on before. It is possible, as Jesus says in the parable, for our eye to be clear and light up our being (Luke 11:36).
We can make the way we live our lives match what we say with our lips. God grant me the wisdom, not just today but every day, to heed the wake up call and stand on solid ground again.