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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for September 2, 2021

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page. You can also listen to the Forward Day by Day podcast anywhere you find podcasts!

THURSDAY, September 2         The Martyrs of New Guinea

Psalm 37:8-9 Do not fret…it leads only to evil.

On a guitar, frets are raised metal strips inserted into the fingerboard. For my grandmother, the word fret describes her habitual worry about whether her cat has enough to eat. But to fret is also to gradually wear away or wear down something by rubbing or gnawing.

Within the first eight verses of Psalm 37, the writer twice implores the reader “do not fret.” I first read this plea through the lens of asking my grandmother to stop worrying about the cat. But then I looked at these verses through the lens of the other definition: fret as a gradual wearing down or away.

“Do not fret—it leads only to evil,” the psalmist warns. What if the worrying and obsessing that I do over the things I cannot control is the very thing that most wears me down and gnaws at my peace? I know that when I am worn out, I am left with very little margin to be kind, generous, or patient. When I am rubbed raw, mistakes happen, feelings are hurt, and bridges are battered. Instead of fretting, I can practice, as the psalmist encourages, trusting and taking delight in the Lord.

MOVING FORWARD: How can you approach fretting in a new way?

Pray for the Diocese of Eldoret (Kenya)

Ps 37:1-18 * 37:19-42 | 1 Kings 11:1-13 | James 3:13—4:12 | Mark 15:12-21

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