December 11th, 2013

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 ESV

Colorado’s skies, vast and beautiful, are one of the very first things I fell in love with about my state. Clouds and skylines, stars and sunshine, all combine to create a gorgeous, ever-changing tapestry. All this beauty is, very often, marked with something called “contrails.” But, until I moved to Colorado, I never knew what a “contrail” was. Our first house was just off of “Contrails Drive,” but it was several months into living there before I finally got around to figuring out what that odd word meant.

A contrail is a visible streak in the sky, left behind by an airplane. The water particles condense and leave a trail showing exactly where the plane flew. At sunset, when these particles catch the setting sun’s rays, the contrails create an especially spectacular display.

As I have meditated on Psalm 23 these past few weeks, I have been overwhelmed with God’s blessings in my life. “The Lord is my Shepherd,” the psalm declares, “I shall not want.” How true this is. I don’t want; my Shepherd has given me everything I need. The contrails of His goodness and mercy continually mark the skies of my life.

In the past week, though, as I’ve specifically pondered this psalm’s sixth verse, I have begun to think about a more specific application.

God leaves contrails of goodness and mercy all over me. But, what sort of contrails does my life leave?

I know that the traditional understanding of this verse is that, based on all God’s goodness in my past, I can anticipate His goodness in my future. And certainly, as the psalm ends, I will be with the Lord forever.”

But, ‘til forever begins, does goodness and mercy follow me, of my own accord?

Really, it’s not a big deal that people know that I’ve been somewhere, evidenced by a Tosha-shaped contrail. What is a big deal is that a trail of goodness and mercy can be seen following my path.

So, to me, the 23rd Psalm’s sixth verse has become a declarative statement:  Goodness and mercy shall follow me. I will live in such a way that those looking at my life experience contrails of God’s goodness, because of me.

It is only right that the overflowing abundance He has given me be poured out on others.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”



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