Last week our assignment was to write a psalm about something we experienced in life. It could be about a sad moment, something that helped us feel serene, a time when we completely felt God's presence...the choice was ours. The only thing that mattered was that we wrote our psalm as they'd been written in the past: the psalm should express our feelings to God, rather than just stating "what happened."
There were a lot of moments I could have used to write about. I looked through the Book of Psalms to get an idea. The first psalm I happened to open up to was psalm 18: a song of praise with rather war-like imagery. For the time they were written, and also for the context, it made sense to write and converse with God in relation to war...something a little more confusing today. So rather than write something sappy, or completely praise-worthy, I saw this psalm and wondered what I could tap into in order to write a psalm such as this.
So looking into my past, I wrote and shared this with the others in my class. No one was able to figure out what I was exactly describing, however they said they could see the emotions that were shared in the psalm. When we known the original meaning and/or context of a psalm, it takes on an entirely different interpretation.
In the sense of fun and sharing, I thought I'd post my psalm here. What I won't post, at least not yet, is the actual event or part of my life that this comes from. I will leave that for you, Dear Reader, to investigate yourself. The question is this: does this seem like someone's genuine feelings? Do you see a time when this psalm could be used during a prayer? What does this psalm mean to you?
After a few days, I'll describe the story behind my psalm, an odd change from the Book of Psalms. But I think the important part is to realize that a psalm was a way for people to share their emotions with God; if you can see or relate to these emotions , I see that as more important than just my meaning.
"Hail Almighty!" I exclaim with all my breath,
You have gifted me with strength and wisdom,
Your mighty arm has extended across the universe to guide me as I train;
You have fashioned me into your righteous soldier.
I strive to be your reflection.
As I stand ready before my enemies, I invoke your holy name,
Your spirit echoes in my voice as I shout across the battlefield.
Your eyes see and your ears hear, your lips whisper into my ear.
You choose us to be your flaming sword of justice.
While war raged all around me, I could not tell friend from foe,
You gave me sight so that my aim might be true.
You gave me speed that my legs prevent my enemies' escape.
I need only say your name, and you reveal my foes to me.
My Lord keeps me from falling to the ground.
Your blade is just and far-reaching; we wield your power with precision,
Like a symphony of minstrels or choir of hosts.
What foe can stand against the power of the Lord?
What test cannot be overcome with you on our side?
By your mighty arm, we stand victorious in battle.
"Hail, Almighty!" I exclaim, and you make me a king of people.
I am both a master of slaves and an elder of brothers.
I offer tribute that I remain in your favor.
Grant that I should not fail my people; and they will know
no other god is Lord but you.
I have left your comfort, Lord.
Everything is black in front of me.
I feel only dirt under my feet, stillness in the wake of triumph.
Your once-great warrior is gone.
Why did you tease me with glory and victory, Lord?
Help me to always know that you are my God,
Show me that your greatness exists beyond the gates of discord.
And keep me always as one of your own.
Enjoy, and feel free to add any comments you wish to. I'll talk about the meaning later. =)