Ep.019: Psalm 1: Tree People and Chaff People

Hi, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me.”

Today we start a new prayer project: praying through the Psalms. We start with Psalm 1, which asks the question, “Do you want to be a chaff person or a tree person?”

Psalm 1 describes wicked people as chaff blown around by the wind.  So what is chaff?

When the wheat is growing, the kernels are protected by an outer layer of fibre. But after harvest, you garbage the dry and useless husks, and save the edible kernels to be ground into flour.

1. Imagine a grain farmer in ancient times, using a shovel to toss his pile of grain into the air. The wind blows away the dry husks and dirt, and the good seeds fall back into the pile.

2. A modern combine takes the crop into the front and spews dirt and straw and husks out the back.

3. In World War 2, planes dropped foil-backed strips of paper into the air to confuse the enemy radar. They called it chaff. It was a cloud of paper fluttering down through the air, ending up as useless litter on the ground.

Maybe your life is like chaff: short-term, temporary, little to show for your efforts, changing direction with the weather, a cloud of dust and husks in the blowing wind. Always looking for the next hit of entertainment or drugs or religion that will mask your pain and give you relief from gnawing emptiness and angst.    

Psalm 1 says there is another way to do life. Instead of being a chaff person, you could be a tree person. A tree, planted by streams of water, always green and leafy, giving a harvest of fruit. A tree person has deep roots, a tree person doesn’t dry up and blow away. A tree person becomes like Treebeard the Ent in “Lord of the Rings” — not hasty, but thoughtful, wise, and good.

Let’s pray.  

Our Father, so much of our life is chaff. Our books, our movies, our video games, days on Facebook and nights surfing the net. Our lives are blowing away a cloud of dust and chaff.  

Help us become tree people. To grow our roots deep into your word. To listen to our heart when it tells us to pray. To obey the spirit when it encourages us to love a neighbour. Psalm 1 says, “The Tree Person delights in the law of the Lord.”  Help us to discover the delight that comes from letting go our ways of chaff, and growing roots and leaves and fruit, fed by the Spirit in streams of water and growing up into the warming sunshine of your presence.

Amen.

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.

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