“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
There are two ways of travelling along life’s pathway. We can look into ourselves, or we can look up to the Lord. The more we look into ourselves, the more we get dragged down in a self-centred way of living. The more we look up to the Lord, the more we get lifted up to a God-centred way of living.
We ask, “What is my life all about?” We’re trying to figure this out for ourselves. Is this the only way of looking at life? Can we not see another way? Can we not ask another question, “What is the Lord’s purpose for my life?”
Too often, we follow the self-centred way of life. Soon, we lose sight of the other way, the God-centred way. Is there something that’s, always, drawing us back to the Lord, something that’s, always, saying to us, “Don’t forget about the Lord”?
The first words of the twenty-third Psalm keep on calling out to us. They keep on bringing before us the searching question, “Have you forgotten the Lord?”
To hear or read the words, “The Lord is my shepherd”, is to be invited to think more deeply about our life. Is there more to our life than just living to please ourselves?
We read the words, “I shall not want”, and we wonder, “What does this mean?” Does it mean that our life will be just perfect? No. It doesn’t mean that. What it does mean is this: when we have the Lord at the centre of our life, we will be content that we’re heading in the right direction, as we make our way through life’s journey.
This is not to say that we will never find ourselves thinking, “If only my life had turned out differently.” If only: What are we to do when we find ourselves thinking like this? This is when we need to remember the opening words of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” To have the Lord in our lives: this is what matters. Nothing else matters more than this; “The Lord is my shepherd.” When this is the most important thing in our life, we will not hesitate to say, with real contentment, “I shall not want.”