“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” I’ve heard, read, recited, and sung this familiar phrase many times.  But it caught my attention in a new way this week. It was a lousy day, so I went to another brother after lunch to see if he had any advice for me. After hearing me out, he mentioned that recently God had been talking to him about the word “want”, about how it had been such a driving force in his life. He was trying to learn how to “not want” — instead putting more daily control in God’s hands. When I think of Psalm 23, I usually think of the end verses, about being comforted, fearing no evil, and dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.  But I’ve never thought much about the first phrase “I shall not want.”

So, I figured I’d try to “not want” for the afternoon. This turned out to be quite unsuccessful!  With the start of each day, the list of I “wants” is long. To name just a few: the alarm clock to stop and the time flashing on it to be incorrect; of course coffee; the sun to be up already; the dog not to bark; for the day to go well (especially the meeting this afternoon I’m worried about)… To not want must be a miracle and gift from God. I think of how relaxing it would to “not want” — the stress it might take away, the pressure it could relieve. It’s been fascinating to think and pray about. There’s a peacefulness in not “wanting” or demanding that things (or people) go a certain way — mainly my way.  I think I’ll try this again today, and see what else I can learn, or if I can go for even five minutes without wanting!

This entry was posted in Correction, Dissapointment and Discouragement, God, Learning, Practicing, Scripture by Melodius Monk. Bookmark the permalink.

About Melodius Monk

I'm 30 years old, and I grew up at the Community of Jesus. My parents moved from Ohio to live at the Community two years before I was born, so with the exception of a few years at college, I’ve lived in the Community my whole life. I became a Novice Brother in 2003, and made my profession as a brother in 2005. Currently I have a pretty varied life as a brother. In addition to daily responsibilities in our liturgies, I cook, sing, play trumpet, and am responsible for various cleaning and maintenance needs in the church building (my favorite jobs is changing the light bulbs at 45 feet!) I also arrange transportation for brothers to various appointments, work on repairing musical instruments, clean the barn, give tours of the church, make the weekly food menu for the Friary, and help out with various other needs as they arise around the Community. Growing up, I was not particularly interested in the religious life, but I met Jesus at an inter-varsity fellowship meeting my second year in college, and that re-directed my life drastically. I feel very fortunate to have found my life’s calling, and the hope for more wholeness is what keeps me on my monastic journey on difficult days.

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