Psalms 120-134 all begin with words "A song to take you higher" or "A song of ascent" or "A song of the stairway...One Hebrew manuscript titles them "Songs of the Homeward Marches."~Footnote in The Passion Translation
A time of reflection. Like I've ascended an elegant staircase, run my fingers over the intricate wrought iron as I've climbed up. I'm paused on a landing. Leaning against the banister, remembering the steps I've taken over the years.
How can it be that I'm at this place so quickly? Retirement. I've been thinking about all the people I've worked with, colleagues and patients alike. I've said a thousand farewells already. I've felt the exhaustion of endings. "Even good change brings loss and discomfort simultaneous with hope and glorious anticipation of new beginnings," I remind myself.
I've contemplated the stairs I've already climbed. As I've advanced, I've embraced the concept of small steps, increments as a way to live life. "Just take the next step, Priscilla. No matter how insignificant the movement may seem, one step moves you forward." I realize that with each step there is something miraculous that occurs. The step triggers something that I cannot accomplish on my own. Carrying on ignites the power of God to multiply the minute action on my part. Something like Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fishes. My duty is to keep proceeding. Sometimes I've been able to run up the staircase. More often, though, it's been the steady, slow movement higher.
With each step there is a song on the staircase, the melody of the Spirit who accompanies me with His Word:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.~Jeremiah 29:11
...the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.~Luke 12:7
You know every step I will take before my journey begins. You've gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.~ Psalm 139:4-6
We glide along through the tides of time--so quickly gone, like a dream that fades at dawn. Like glistening grass that springs up one day and is dry and withered the next, ready to be cut down!"~Psalm 90: 6
He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; He will never forget nor ignore me.~Psalm 121:3
My glance is positioned forward as I prepare to once again begin the ascent. The pause on the landing has fortified me, given me confidence that the chorus of His anthems will never stop.