I feel like I do not have the kind of enemies that are described in Psalm 140 and 141 [and many other psalms]. I am not aware that there is anybody out there who is out to get me, to harm, destroy, or even kill me. Thus, I don’t know how to read a psalm like this. How can I identify and pray this?

Well, the closest I can come is when I cycle to work every day. Today was a particularly miserable day. It was wet–very wet–and about 5 degrees. When it has rained as much as it has in the past few days I know that my usual route through a low lying swampy area on a trail and boardwalk will be flooded so I am forced to take the street. Cars are my enemies. I confess that I have called down some curses on them as they whiz by, spewing their pollutants into my face and splashing me with dirty water. So perhaps a few of the lines of these psalms can help me:

“Keep me safe Lord” [140.4; 141:9]

“Those who surround me proudly rear their heads” [140:9]

“May they be thrown into a [pothole], never to rise” [140:10]

But as I spew forth a barrage of polluted words towards them I suppose I should pray 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

But the ultimate triumph came this morning when I was able to pray 141:10. “Let the wicked [cars] fall into their own [potholes] while I pass by in safety.” Abbotsford has done quite well in creating bike lanes and I was traveling on a bike lane this morning when I noticed a massive traffic jam ahead of me, probably a line up at least a kilometer long with dozens and dozens of cars. It had been hard to get out of bed this morning and even harder to get on my bike in the cold, gray drizzle but now I felt a new surge of energy as I sped past them all, shouting and laughing with glee, “You too could ride your bike and get wet instead of fuming in a traffic jam all dry and cozy.” I even waved a few times just to let them know how happy I was to be “passing by in safety.”

 

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