Last week in a small group devotion, I was introduced to alternative versions of Psalm 23. There a version that called the Lord our Pace-setter and went on to speak of the incredible balance and peace the Lord’s presence introduces to our daily lives. Another has the Lord as our Choirmaster and goes on to sing his praises in a harmonious, musical tone. A third declares the Lord is our Compass and Courier. (If you would like to read these for yourself, here is the link: http://nevfam2.tripod.com/prayers/a21c.htm) The one that caught my full attention and made me laugh out loud several times was one entitled Politically Correct Jargon Version. I’ve included it here for you:
The Lord and I are in a shepherd/sheep situation, and I am in a position of negative need. He prostrates me in a green belt grazing area; he conducts me directionally parallel to non-torrential aqueous liquid. He returns to original satisfaction levels my psychological make-up; he switches me on to a positive behavioral format for maximal prestige of his identity. It should indeed be said that notwithstanding the fact that I make ambulatory progress through the umbrageous inter-hill mortality slot, terror-sensations will not be instantiated within me due to para-ethical phenomena. Your pastoral walking aid and quadruped pickup unity introduce me into a pleasurific moodstate. You design and produce a nutriment-bearing furniture-type structure in the context of non-cooperative elements. You act out a head-related folk ritual employing vegetable extract; my beverage utensil experiences a volume crisis. It is an ongoing deductible fact that your inter-relational empathetical and non-vengeance capabilities will retain me as their target focus for the duration of my non-death period; and I will possess tenant rights in the housing unit of the Lord on a permanently open-ended time basis. (Anonymous)
I laughed all the way through but also was saddened by the realization that we too often do this very thing in living out and relaying the good news of Jesus. We take something so beautiful, so simple and original as God’s grace and love and complicate it. We make it unintelligible to everyone, especially those who need it the most in its purest form—undeserved, unsolicited acceptance, love and grace—redemption by and through Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
Of course I was intrigued. The writer in me had to try creating my own alternative version and the poet in me welcomed the chance to embrace the most well-known psalm of all time in a new way. Enjoy!
I am a character in The Author’s novel—
He created my backstory and has written everything into me needed
to engage the reader and fulfill the plot line.
Even though the plot twists and the action jumps off the page,
I am securely fixed in His hand and His imagination.
With every keystroke and edit of His pen
He takes me where He wants me to be
for He is The Author.
Even though I find myself caught in a dark and stormy night
I will light the flashlight You put in my pocket
and courageously walk the perilous path ahead
confident that You have me coming through this suspenseful
turn of events in the next chapter
Even as the story tension builds You have developed my character fully
and in carefully placed story points, You’ve written in all I need
to claim victory over the antagonist at every turn
all the while rejoicing in my happy ending
and knowing I will live on forever in the amazing sequel You have in mind.