Railcars and Bottlecaps

I once read on the underside of a bottlecap to carry on.

And here I am, standing still, on a moving train.

I couldn’t find it within me to let go of all my troubles,

So instead I let a railcar do it for me.

 

The wind rushes alongside the car and through my hair.

My veins pulse as the beast rattles, back and forth, back and forth.

I haven’t taken a step from where I stand,

And yet all my worries are miles behind me.

 

I don’t know where it comes from, but I hear a banjo playing.

It falls in line with the chug of the engine, and it’s refreshing.

Actually, it’s liberating,

And my heartstrings play along with the ever-quickening melody.

 

Tomorrow bares down on me, like the storm clouds that brew overhead.

But I am not frightened by the morrow, or by the rain that falls.

I stand, stouthearted, open-souled, and fearless,

Equipped with both grit and belief by the steel that churns beneath my feet.

Psalm Project: Five

As the day goes, we’re nearsighted,

            and in the night we see no further.

We’re unsure of the things to come,

            unaware of what lies in wait.

We know not what the future holds,

            only what sits at our feet.

But the Lord our God is omniscient,

            and he knows of the things to come.

His wisdom and power are limitless,

            and time, for him, is no boundary.

He rules, unconfined by time,

            sovereign over all our days.

No day to him is unknown,

            and no hour will come in surprise.

He has seen what will come of us,

            he knows what the days will bring.

He sees our innermost thoughts,

            and knows the longings of our hearts.

No more will I worry or fear,

            no longer will I dread or doubt.

For I know my God is there,

            and my hope in him is steadfast.

Psalm Project: Four

When the path before me fades,

            God marks out the course;

when darkness encroaches around,

            God illuminates the way.

His hand goes over the land,

            and only his ways are good;

his direction is always steadfast,

            for only he is good.

Who knows the truth but him,

            and who holds the key to wisdom?

Who made the lay of the land,

            and laid for the stones their foundation?

Who brings up the sun at dawn,

            and who set apart the waters?

Who set forth the law,

            and who provides for his people?

The Lord our God is faithful,

            the Lord our God is good,

the Lord our God is sovereign,

            the Lord our God is truth.

Amen.

Psalm Project: Three

If only I could see as you see,

            o Lord;

if only my eyes would lock

            where yours fall.

My eyes are distracted by beauty,

            by all that’s fleeting and fading;

I’m drawn to outward appearance,

            weak at focusing on the deep.

You value truth and integrity,

            humility, grace, and love;

you care not for outer facades,

            but for hearts that are pure and true.

You look beyond the face

            and past all the riches and status;

your eyes search much deeper within,

            they settle on hearts and souls.

I’m captured by the allure of nymphs,

            drawn in by the siren’s song;

if only I were blind to beauty

            and could align my eyes with yours.

Help my eyes to refocus

            on character, grace, and love;

I quiet my heart before you,

            seeking your knowledge and truth.

I long for your certainty and vision,

            I worship your wisdom and grace;

Lord, grant me vision and wisdom,

            help me see the way that you see.

Psalm Project: Two

Your fields provide me with comfort,

            your pastures give me rest;

your moon and stars accompany me,

            your clouds fill me with peace.

When storms rage and the sky blusters,

            your Spirit calms my heart;

the waves of the ocean won’t startle me,

            for your Spirit anchors my soul.

No monster can crush my resolve,

            no beast can conquer my might;

for though I am weak, you strengthen me,

            you steady my feet on the path.

I will endure through the trials,

            keeping straight through the chaos;

undeterred by the darkness,

            I will not lose sight of your light.

You are always there in crisis,

            you do not forsake or abandon;

and whenever I fail to see you,

            I know that we walk in stride.

My hand is steadied by yours,

            my gait unwavering alongside you;

my heart is unharmed at your side,

            my soul safe in your hands of love.

Psalm Project: One

Rejoice, o my soul,

            from the depths of the valley;

from the peaks of the mountains,

            rejoice.

In the driest heat of the desert,

            in the thunder and in the rain,

in the bitter cold of winter,

            sing your songs of praise.

Cry from deep within,

            when despair is all you know;

sing from the brim of your cup,

            when joy and gladness flow.

In anger, find the music,

            in grief, mourn through song;

in sorrow, sing your sadness,

            in gratitude, trumpet strong.

Whether frightened or sure, sing out,

            bellow out your praise;

whether surrounded or lonely, rejoice,

            make music all of your days.

Make music from your soul

            and share it with the world;

compose within your heart

            and conduct it to the Lord.

Let the bluebird join in singing,

            share with the trees your song;

they will join you in rejoicing,

            rejoicing all the day long.

Sing from the top of the mountains,

            sing at the top of your lungs,

sing from the depths of your heart,

            that the world would know your song.

Rejoice in the solitude of dawn,

            sing out in the heat of noon,

praise in the beauty of sunset,

            and still beneath the moon.

Rejoice, o my soul,

            in the Lord;

rejoice, o my soul,

            rejoice.

Old Man Autumn

The brilliant orb in the sky

sets slightly sooner than it used to,

almost as if to say,

“I’m getting tired now.”

Leaves have begun to color,

and soon thereafter fade,

ruefully shed by the branches

that somehow seem to slump.

Though the air has grown cooler,

life appears to slow its course

and movements require effort;

at least more than before.

The weight of wind grows heavy

and the atmosphere becomes weary,

though the breeze still rustles

beneath the aged beauty of the trees.

And while the days have grown tired,

and though the winters impose,

the sun will shine brightly through

each of the world’s elder souls.