United Church of Christ

Grounded

My feet stand in a firm place. - Psalm 26:8-18

Jesus took a long trip on Palm Sunday. He took nothing with him. He knew what he was doing—and he knew that it had firm, long-term value.

Someone wise said that walking is just controlled falling. When we put one foot in front of the other, we control our falling every time we move. We make a decision to move on.

The psalmist is not offering a journey. Or a fall. Or good boots for snow and ice. They are not doing rehab for walking or even pre-hab for walking. They are just doing “hab.” That’s a new word I just made up for habit or habituating or habitat-dwelling. Their feet are planted in a firm place. They live where they are, when they are there, like Jesus “habbed” on that long journey to the big city.

We, too, can be firmly planted while on a journey. We can dwell in a firm place while making a cross-country move or a life-changing journey to Jerusalem. Emily Dickinson says we have an inner control of our outer being. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith says of a bag lady trudging along, “I am with you four out of five days, carrying bags I really don’t want, continuing on out of spite more than anything else.”

When we are in these heavily laden moods, it doesn’t matter whether we are carrying a ton on our journey or not. A small purse can feel like it weighs 50 pounds. Conversely, a heavy suitcase can feel light. It matters where our inner feet are planted.

Prayer
Give us a Palm Sunday center, you who are our focus and our core, and keep us on the big road to your city. Amen.

Donna SchaperAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.

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