Psalm 4 - Why Settle?


I'm terrified of settling. 

Whether at work, at home, or even in my hobbies, I have a visceral reaction to anything that seems even remotely like settling. I've built my persona on striving and growing so settling leaves a coppery taste in my mouth. It bugs me. 

While this can be a good thing, it isn't always. Sometimes my kids misbehave. It might be because their entire lives have been shorter than the average box of Twinkies that exists today. But my "always striving" mind tells me otherwise. It prompts me to push them. It wants them to strive like I strive. It can't settle for current state. 

Here's the switch that needs to happen: Settling can be good. (See, even just saying that made me twitch a bit). 

That's right, I said it and I'm going to say it again. This time with a slight twist. 

Settling can be good when we settle into something good.  

Right now I'm reading through the Psalms in The Message Bible translation. I am doing it to approach the Psalms from a fresh perspective and see them with new eyes. 

Psalm 4 speaks to me anew. Read verses 6-8 here.

Why is everyone hungry for  more ? “More, more,” they say.

Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.

"Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
“More, more.”
I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day

Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together."

If I'm chronically unsettled then I am far more likely in the "hungry for more, more, more" camp. Even if I'm not the shopping spree type as Peterson mentions in his translation, I'm still prone to pile things into my life to seek fullness. It might be stuff, or experiences, or skills, or relationships. It's still not going to scratch the itch. 

I'm desperate for God's more-than-enough. I'm willing to settle into it. I'm longing for the "sound sleep" that signifies fulfillment. 

I hope I'm not the only one who struggles with settling. I pray that my fellow unsettlers and I can deepen our dependence on God. 

I am in the process of reading a Psalm a day in The Message translation by Eugene Peterson. It is written personally and in a way that helps me see these Scriptures anew. A friend shared with me a method he uses for reading the Psalms. 

1. Read the Psalm slowly in my head. Focus on understanding.

2. Read the Psalm audibly as a prayer to God. 

3. Pray the same prayer in my own words. Make the Psalm my prayer for my life right now. 

It has been a great exercise in speaking to God. I encourage you to try it!