It isn’t pretty, but it’s here to stay. It occurs in every life and in every season of the year. I call it the “daily grind.”
Homemakers face 14-hour days with ever-present children and an endless grind of responsibilities. Students endure the grind of assignments, classes, deadlines, and exams. Salespeople have quotas to meet. Musicians must constantly rehearse. Psychologists can’t escape one depressed soul after another. Husbands have grass to mow and things to fix each weekend. Preachers forever face the ever-present grind of sermon preparation.
Fact is—let’s face it—the grind isn’t going away! Instead of fussing about it or dreading it, we must find a way to live beyond it. How?
Songs! But not just any songs.
I have in mind a songbook that’s really old. In fact, it’s one of the first-ever songbooks composed, inspired by our Creator-God. Its timeless songs were written specifically to help us live beyond that grind of daily life. That’s right, beyond it. Why else would God have inspired those age-old compositions called psalms? They are timeless songs that have yielded delicious fruit in every generation. Surely, He realized the lasting value of each musical masterpiece and therefore preserved them to help us persevere. They drip with the oil of glory that enables us to live beyond the grind. Here’s what I mean:
- When frightened, who hasn’t been comforted by, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want” (NASB)? That’s Psalm 23
- Who hasn’t felt strangled by guilt and found soothing relief from, “According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me…cleanse me”? That’s Psalm 51
- And on those days when we feel forgotten, who hasn’t felt assured by, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty”? That’s the immortal Psalm 91
Don’t think that just because summer’s ahead that the grind will take a vacation. Not on your life! It will still be there. But this summer, for a change, let’s live beyond it.
Choose some psalms to include in your personal reading time this summer. To help make them stick, don’t try to digest too great a meal in one sitting. Consider these songs as rich food to be savoured slowly. Too much too fast would be counterproductive. Let me urge you to take your time, to read each psalm you select carefully, to give your mind time to digest each one slowly, and to enter into its practical application meaningfully. I believe these time-tested lyrics will add just enough nourishment to our days to enable us to live out the truths of these psalms. Otherwise, our long days would never end and the wearisome road before us would never bend. How grateful I am for these inspired songs!
God’s people need to sing His songs frequently...and allow their time-tested lyrics to feed our souls. When we do, we begin to live beyond the grind.