You know there’s a trick up my sleeve with a title like that! Sometimes I think it would be a good idea to become a monk because of the kind of world we live in. I’d like to hole up somewhere. As Wordsworth penned–‘The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending, we lay waste our powers…’
Psychologists tell us that when confronted with some difficult issue it’s either ‘fight or flight’. Hit back or flee. I tend to throw myself into the battle. And many times I can make a difference. But with this big, old, messed-up world of ours, flight now seems like the best option. To the monastery for me! I’d last two days, especially if no talking was allowed!
Let’s turn to the Scriptures for some guidance. Psalm 101 is written by King David. Here’s some marvelous advice from someone who knows. He tells us not to move to a monastery, but to somewhere closer–‘I will ponder the way that is blameless…I will walk with integrity of heart within my house'(Psalm 101:2).
Maybe we can’t change the world, but we can watch how we walk with the Lord. How we worship and pray, singing His praises within ourselves all day long. Looking out the window, I see lots of trees, green grass, clouds and sky. I don’t stop there. I see the hand of our Creator God. I praise Him for His creation. Join me, will you?
Praise the Lord! Moving forward in Psalm 101, David tells us to ‘not set before my eyes anything that is worthless'(verse 3). This is an individual matter, and I would be the last one to tell you what’s worthless in your life. And I would no doubt resent the same from you to me. Ask the Lord what worthless things you need to get rid of. Then get rid of them. But not before you really sense something from God.
David says to be careful who we rub shoulders with–‘I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me'(verse 3). Be on your guard who you listen to, what advice you take, whose lead you follow .
Every pearl of wisdom of this psalm is something that you and I can act upon. Be close to the Lord. Listen to Him in His Word. Keep your distance from the hornet’s nests of ungodly people, their ways and teachings. Fellowship with His people when you can. Tell others about your best friend, whose love is out-of-this-world.
All these things we can do even though the world seeks to suffocate us. Don’t let it. We don’t need to hole up somewhere, like in a cave or monastery, as tempting as that may be. Close to Jesus is where we want to be.
Prayer: Lord, help us to be in this world and yet not of it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.