Sunday, August 9, 2009

Taking It With You

Tehillim for Every Occasion

Tehillim were not meant to be used as a soothsayer or as a magical divination. One should not be searching for the words which will make one’s crisis disappear. Instead, Tehillim should be considered a form of therapy for the individual who is either suffering, scared, or joyous and thankful.

When confronted by a crisis one tends to lose oneself and one’s connection with God. Tehillim is a means towards reconnecting with the self and with God. Each chapter has a different focus, each song reflects a different angle or motif that affected the psalmist and can help us get in touch with those feelings as well.

Reciting the specific psalm is meant to inspire us, engage our minds and hearts towards dealing with the crises before us and to engage our God in our journey towards emerging from this particular crisis.

Here is a list of psalms which relate to certain emotional experiences:

Psalm 1—Appreciating the everyday struggle and the capacity to overcome negative influences and pressures in one’s life leading the way to realizing a metaphysical fortunate existence.

Psalm 2—A meditation about leadership and kingship, acknowledging there are powerful forces which aim to uproot the messengers of God. The king and nation must have faith in the ultimate destruction of evil in the world.

Psalm 3—What happens when those closest to you rebel? How do you feel when you are partially responsible for their errant ways? When it threatens your capacity to parent, or even to exist? Turn to God. Have faith in His guiding hand and accept your predicament while at the same time be encouraged that you can overcome it.

Psalm 5—Morning confidence and even expectation is crucial in how we approach our day. We need to sometimes feel that we can conquer, fulfilling the divine imperative. We do not deny the reality of our present but with prayer and expectation we hope for a brighter future.

Psalm 6—Depression. When we are down all the little hindrances in or world are magnified paralyzing us from functioning. This psalm teaches us to turn to God as our therapist. He will help us emerge from this dark predicament and defeat our demons.

Psalm 7—Justification. Sometimes the cards are turned against us for no reason. We feel the need to justify our actions and question our needless suffering. We turn to God for guidance at why this evil chases us and wears us down. Ultimately we will acknowledge God’s true justice and be able to sing His praises.

Psalm 8—Philosophy. We forget to marvel at God’s world. We must always be aware of our precarious human condition—humbly finite and insignificant on the one hand, and almost infinite and divine on the other. Between the two lies the secret of our human experience.