"David and the Harp" by Umberto Romano

God is our beginning, middle, and end. He is our sustenance, our breath, life, hope, and purpose. He is the only prize, not money or fame or earthly love. The only truly good thing in this physical universe is God. We are nothing. He is everything.

These are such controversial ideas today, counter-cultural, fighting words. Many people, even many Christians, would think such talk is too extreme, cult language…

But it is the type of relationship David had with God. Consider all the love songs that fill the book of Psalms. David was consumed by his love for God.

“You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing…. LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;” (Ps 14:2 & 5)

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Ps 27:4)

“Taste and see that the LORD is good…” (Ps 34:8)

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Ps 42:1-2)

That is some blush-worthy mushy stuff, right there! David loved God passionately. He understood that without God, nothing has any value. God is the only treasure worth desiring.

This is the attitude of someone deeply in love with God. This is the relationship of a saint willing to even die for their faith. Very few people reach such a level of devotion.

Certainly I am very far from there. I’m too in love with other things like comfort, success, applause, chocolate, myself. There’s not much room left in this selfish heart for the Creator of the Universe.

But I want to love him more. My brain understands the wisdom of such a love. My heart on the other hand… Sometimes I feel it, this all consuming love for God, in the mornings in my prayer garden, before the rest of the world has begun the daily drudge. It is a beautiful fire. Sometimes it feels so close, like I could reach out and dip my old hands into this magnificent flame, that I could melt into eternal euphoria. Then the phone rings, Gmail beeps. The physical world toughly intrudes. And the moment is gone.

But I’m hungry for congruity, for my heart and mind to get onto the same page. This is why I pray. This is why I dive into the Scriptures. This is why I keep attempting to march resolutely on, toward the highest prize. It is not an act of dying to self. It is an act of worship.

King David playing the harp; from the Alphonso Psalter. Artist unknown.