Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is barghest, “a legendary doglike goblin believed to portend death or misfortune.”
Today, a mere two days after Black Cat Day, is Cat Day. So, while every dog has his day, every black cat gets two days! This is Trixie, one of our cats. She is, at the moment, wrestling with Tessie, the dog. They are BFFs. BFsF? Whatever.
There’s not much going on around here, right now, and I’ve just noticed what time it is. Somehow, I have wasted too much time, this morning, so I need to get into my devotional. Christi has Huddle tonight. We don’t know if it is their last one, or not.
Kansas City beat the Mets 7-1 last night, so they will be heading to New York for game 3 with a 2-0 lead in the series.
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
As Keller continues to examine praise, and why we should praise God, he finds that, “Another reason for the primacy of praise is that it has such power to heal what is wrong with us and create inner strength.” He finds great wisdom in a work of C.S. Lewis, called Reflections on the Psalms.
At first, Lewis had a problem with the way the Psalms continuously call for people to praise God. It was as though God was constantly asking for attention. But as he reflected on praise, he considered the nature of it. When we feel that something is admirable, we believe that other people ought to admire that thing, and that, should they fail to do so, they will miss out on something wonderful. Says Keller, “If God is the great object of admiration behind all other beauties and magnificence, then to praise and admire him would be ‘simply to be awake, to have entered the real world,’ while not doing so would be to become far more profoundly crippled than those who are blind, deaf, and bedridden.”
Another thing that Lewis discovered was that, when we do find something enthralling and praiseworthy, we tend to have an insatiable need to proclaim that to others and get them to praise that thing, as well. Lewis says:
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete until it is expressed. . . . This is so even when our expressions are inadequate, as of course they usually are. But how if one could really and fully praise even such things to perfection–utterly “get out” in poetry or music or paint the upsurge of appreciation which almost bursts you? Then indeed the object would be fully appreciated and our delight would have attained perfect development.
The bottom line for both Lewis and Keller is that, “we must praise God or live in unreality and poverty.” If we are to get beyond “abstract knowledge to heart-changing engagement,” we must praise God for who and what he is, and we must praise him in the presence of others.
Father, help me to praise you more. Help me overcome my timidity of praising you in the presence of others; of proclaiming your praise to people around me. Increase my enjoyment of you and my understanding of who you are. My mind and spirit are cluttered, Father. I need to simplify my affections and desires. Help me to direct them toward you.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.