“One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what 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.” – Psalm 27:4
Happy New Year!
As I think about starting another trip around the sun, I’m reminded of how much freedom a beginning can bring. Every 365.25 days we start another new year. With our thanks to Julius Caesar, this turning of the calendar gives us a new opportunity to become the people that we think we can be. Of course, January 1 is really just another day like any other, but the perception of its primacy creates expectations for improvement.
Experts will tell you that starting the new year with a bunch of pie-in-the sky resolutions is dangerous because you’re not likely to be able to fulfill them. Instead, they caution, that you should create reasonable goals interspersed with milestones. In this way, you can obtain what you seek.
I don’t know whether David wrote the passage above at the start of another new year, but in it, he does open the door to his heart to share with us his resolution. He has one goal in mind – to be where God is.
As I read the passage, I’m struck by two things. First, David takes such care to emphasize that this is his heart’s desire, that he redundantly identifies it as both the “one thing” he asks, and the object which he seeks. He passionately articulates that for him, this is of preeminence.
Secondly – David says that he wants to be where God is because he desires to both 1) gaze upon His beauty and 2) to be in His temple. The Psalmist both wants to feel God’s pleasure and experience His presence. Ill content to just experience God from afar – he desires an intimacy that requires physicality. He wants to both know His Father’s love and to be in relationship with Him.
At the start of another new year, I think that’s a wonderful resolution to make.