“The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”  That was last week’s responsorial psalm.  I don’t know how many times I’ve said it in my life, recited these words without thought—hundreds I would guess—but this time was different.  Without Mass as a worshipping body, I read the words from a Missal.  There was no melting into the crowd, no zoning out from conditioned habit.  It was only me, the words, and my reflection of faith.

                “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”  It is simple to say.  It is easy to agree with in basic principle, but what does it require of us to truly live?  Is there really nothing I shall want?  If honest with myself, and before God—to this question—I fall short.  I still want, I still hope, wish, and desire for what I can readily live without. 

                I’d never examined myself when reciting this Psalm, reflected upon my own ambitions, wants, and desires.  Maybe awareness and admission are the first step to improvement.  I know that I want.  I know that I hope, wish, and desire, but I understand too—toward all of these—I do not need.  I can live with little.  I am already blessed with much. 

                Should further blessings come, I will be grateful.  Should fate turn the other way, I will find blessing and be grateful in such as well.  Blessings abound wherever we choose to see and hold gratitude toward what we understand is a gift and does not have to be: everything.  Of this gratitude, of this determination to see blessings everywhere that they abound, I am becoming better. 

                I will never be perfect.  No man has been, is, or ever will be; but we can all be better.  Sometimes, becoming better is less of an actionable in effort, and more a change in the paradigm we perceive.  We improve through the light and spirit with which we see the world.  We improve through faith in a better that becomes by our belief.    

                “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”  Of all the times I’ve said those words, reading them alone last week, they struck me different.  The Lord is my Shepherd.  There are times I still want, but I know I can do without—I already do.  I have faith in God’s provisions and the design for which I’m made. 

                I will follow.  I will listen.  I will serve.  I am imperfect.  I acknowledge that I sometimes fail to live the words I speak, but in believing their truth, I am made better and brought nearer to such desired states.  By faith, I will become.

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