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And you thought you were having a bad day

a bad day on its way
a bad day on its wayopen stock

Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior, (Ps. 38:22).

Although my tradition does not do much with Lent, I decided that during this season I would go back to an old spiritual discipline I practiced for many years. I’m reading through the Psalms as part of my daily time alone with God. If you use the date as a tool, and read a psalm a day corresponding to the date, you can read through the book in five months. I’m in my second cycle of thirty days. That means my psalm for today is Psalm 38. If you think you are having problems, read this one!

Ironically, or perhaps serendipitously, I spent a bit of time yesterday reading about a new therapy for depression coming out of Cedar Sinai Medical Center. It is called “future-directed therapy”, or FDT. The heart of the therapy is to train people how to have more positive thinking about the future, rather than dwelling on the problems of the past. In previous ponderings I have confessed that I tend to be more of a pessimist than an optimist. Some people see the glass half-empty…some see it half-full…I doubt that the glass actually exists. I really could use some FDT.

David needed a little FDT when he wrote this one. Almost every verse of the twenty-two verses contains a complaint. He was not having a good day. After rehearsing his list of problems, David ends the psalm with today’s text: “Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior,” (Ps. 38:22). I would encourage you to read the whole psalm. I would also encourage you to think about reading a psalm a day during Lent (even if you are a non-liturgical kind of person like me). They seem to hit about every human emotion and situation you can think of. And if you are having a particularly bad day, I hope reading today’s psalm might encourage you, not push you into complete despair!