Psalm 27: An Unhurried Heart

unhurried heart May 31, 2016

How do we learn to live an unhurried life in such a busy, anxious world? How can I cultivate an unhurried heart when there is so much on my plate? I recently found some wise guidance reflecting on Psalm 27. Let me share what I learned.

Remember Who God Is

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
      whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
    Ps 27:4

David begins with God. Sounds simple, right? But there is such wisdom packed into starting with remember who God is. God is my light, my salvation and the stronghold of my life. When I remember that, I somehow slow down inside. My fears diminish. I become unhurried.

Many of my fears relate to the unknown. I’m afraid of something out there beyond my vision or behind me somewhere in the dark. When I let my fear come first, I become frantic. But the Lord is my light in any dark place. He is my salvation and will save me in whatever way I need saving. I may not even know how I need to be saved. He is a safe place for my life. That is really good news.

Learn to Seek One Thing

One thing I ask from the Lord,
      this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
      all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
      and to seek him in his temple.
Ps 27:4

I’m inspired by David’s singular focus in this prayer.  He asks one thing of the Lord. I have a hard time hearing the words “one thing” without thinking of the movie City Slickers and Curly’s secret of life—“one thing.” He leaves Mitch in the dark about what that one thing is, but David sure doesn’t. David’s “one thing” is this: continual and unhurried abiding in God’s beautiful, wise and holy presence. This is what he’s seeking. This is what he wants.

Too often, my prayer does not sound like one thing but countless things. I ask about so many things. So many things have my attention. So many things capture my interest. But at the center of it all, drawing all things together and making sense of it all, is just one thing. This is what I should ask about. This is what I should seek. This is Who I should seek.

What might happen in your life if, like David, you prayed one thing—day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. You get the idea. How might you change, even if only little by little?

I have prayed this prayer more times than I can count. I’m thirsty to be someone who abides in the place of God’s dwelling (and in whom God abides by the Spirit through Christ). I want this to be my reality for the rest of my life. I want to be a man who beholds the beauty of the Lord in a way that transforms my countenance. I want to be like Moses coming off the mountain having enjoyed communion with God. His face glowed. I’d love for mine to glow with grace, kindness, simplicity and love.

Respond to God’s Inner Invitation

Ps 27:8
‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’
      Your face, Lord, do I seek.

Right now, God is saying in your heart, “Seek my face. Let me become the singular focus of your will and the only affection of your heart.” David says, “Yes. I’ll do just that.”

There is a desire that rises up from deep within me inviting me to seek God’s face. There is a corresponding response of engagement to actually seek the Lord’s face. I don’t stop at wanting to seek, or intending to seek, or planning to seek. I seek God—today, here, now. My heart desires to seek. I take action to seek in response. It is God’s Spirit that puts it in me to so desire and it is God’s Spirit that enables me to actually seek.


  • When you think about God, what feelings arise. Do you feel light, cared for and safe? David does. If you don’t feel these things, what do your feelings about God say about how you see God these days? Take a little time to think and pray about this.
  • Take a moment to list the many things in your life that concern you, interest you, involve you, keep you from being unhurried. Can you imagine these as countless spokes of a wheel around a singular hub? Why not pray David’s prayer in verse 4, word for word, as a way of remembering that “one thing” to which God invites us.
  • How do you sense God’s invitation to seek his face? How would you like to respond to that invitation?

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