We are grateful for this time, Loving God,
to be still,
to be intentional,
to focus on you,
Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers, for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday. Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him. (Psalms 37: 1-7a)
A dialogue between comedians, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, proceeds like this:
Dud: I think St. Paul’s got a lot to answer for.
Pete: He started it, didn’t he?
Dud: All those letters he wrote.
Pete: To the Ephiscans.
Dud: You know, ‘Ah, dear Ephiscans, ah, stop enjoying yourself, God’s about the place’.
Pete: ‘Signed Paul’. You can just imagine it can’t you? There’s a nice Ephiscan family, settling down to a good breakfast of fried mussels and hot coffee and they’re just sitting there and it’s a lovely day outside, they’re thinking of taking the children out, y’know, for a picnic, by the sea, by the lake and have a picnic there and everything’s happy, the sun coming through the trees, birds are chirping away.
Dud: Boats bobbing on the ocean.
Pete: The distant cry of happy children.
Dud: Clouds scudding across the sky.
Pete: Naturally, Dud – in fact an idyllic scene is what you call it, when suddenly into the midst of it all – tap, tap, tap, on the door.
Dud: What’s that?
Pete: You know what it is?
Pete: It’s a messenger bearing a letter from Paul. They rush to the door to open it, thinking it may be good news – perhaps grandfather’s died and left them a vineyard. They open it up and what do they discover? ‘Dear George and Deirdre and family, stop having a good time, resign yourself not to have a picnic, cover yourself with ashes and start flailing yourselves’.
Dud: ‘Til further notice.
Pete: ‘Signed Paul.’
This is Pete and Dud in their inimitable style, expressing a popular perception of God as the great killjoy. Those who have begun a relationship with God can easily waver in their commitment for fear that going further might result in the loss of life’s joys.
The Psalmist captures the tendency to look enviously at others who seem to be having the time of their lives. The call to delight in God, however, is an invitation and a promise to experience the deepest desires of our hearts. Such a prospect provides us with the spur to commit our way to God, with peaceful trust and patience.
Reflect on your image of God. To what extent does your God appear as a killjoy?
What comes to mind when you hear the invitation: ‘Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart’?
Selecting a Souvenir
O God, overcome our tendency to look back or to look at others by enlarging our vision of who you are.
Teach us to delight ourselves in you.
Bolster our confidence in your goodness as we experience the desires of our heart.
we commit our way to you afresh,
eager to enter more fully into your goodness,
and be of service to you.
Copyright © 2007 Geoff Pound Making Life Decisions
 William Cook (ed.) Tragically I was an Only Twin (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003), 123. This dialogue has been shorn of a couple of expletives to make the reflection palatable to a wider readership.