Psalm 19 (atop a snowy mountain)

Psalm 19 (NLT)

The heavens tell the glory of God.
   The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
   night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or a word; 
   their voice is silent in the skies; 
yet their message has gone out to all the earth, 
   and their words to all the world.

The sun lives in the heavens
   where God placed it.
It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom
   after his wedding.
It rejoices like a great athlete
   eager to run the race.
The sun rises at the one end of the heavens
   and follows its course to the other end.
   Nothing can hide from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect, 
   reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, 
   making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right, 
   bringing joy to the heart. 
The commands of the Lord are clear, 
   giving insight to life.
Reverence for the Lord is pure, 
   lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true;
   each one is fair.
They are more desirable than gold,
   even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey, 
   even honey dripping from the comb.
They are a warning to those who hear them; 
   there is great reward for those who obey them.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
   Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep me from deliberate sins!
   Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
   and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
   be pleasing to you, 
   O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


This morning, my son Giovanni and I took the Jeep to the top of a local mountain.  At the base of the mountain where we live, it was 50 degrees, dry, and sunny.  So, per our normal routine, we loaded our gear (snow clothes, snacks, water, shovels) and began the short drive to one of our favorite spots.  But today, instead of trekking all the way to the remote area we typically explore, we pulled off the trail early and played in waist-high snow near a little waterfall.  We hopped, jumped, ran, and fell.  Over and over.  Until his little 3 1/2-yr old legs needed to rest.  During our intermission, I read Psalm 19.  Looking around, I was struck by the beauty of the Mt. Hood National Forest.  The warm sunlight streaking through the tall pines.  The cooler grey-blue light bouncing up from the forest floor.  The high-pitch sounds of trickling water; low-bass thumps of snow clumps falling off trees; and the scrunching of waterproof overalls shifting in the snow.

O Lord: the heavens do, in fact, tell of your glory.  And the sunshine -- how uplifting is the sun that charges forward, melts snow, and warms souls.  Give us eyes to see your craftsmanship, cause us to respond to your great love.  Protect us from ourselves -- the curvature of hearts that wants to promote self-love over Jesus-love.  Cleanse us, O Lord, our rock and Redeemer.