Sabbath Tuesday: The Wasteland of the Soul

“Lord, hear my prayer, and in your faithfulness heed my supplications;

answer me in your righteousness.

My spirit faints within me; my heart within me is desolate.

I remember the times past; I muse upon all your deeds;

I consider the works of your hands.

I spread out my hands to you; my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.

Show me the road that I must walk, for I lift up my soul to you.”

from Psalm 143

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In Idylls of the King, Tennyson’s Victorian version of Arthurian legend, many find themselves lost in a desolate land, or attempting to conquer it. Typically, the wasteland is all at once lawless, lifeless, chaotic, and meaningless. It is a place void of music yet full of noise, empty of purpose but ever-warring. The wastelands exist on the outskirts of Arthur’s kingdom, and though many attempt to conquer its various tyrants, it is an ever-present reality.

The Psalmist seems to be saying the same thing about his own soul: it is a place of desolation, a thirsty land. The absence of his Creator is a journey into chaos and meaninglessness, a journey away from order and justice, music and purpose. Sabbath is a time to echo the Psalmist’s words, leaving behind the wasteland of our souls: “Show me the road that I must walk, for I lift up my soul to you.”


2 thoughts on “Sabbath Tuesday: The Wasteland of the Soul

  1. Thank you for this encouraging post, Allison. Sometimes my heart feels empty and weak. I appreciate the reminder that God will lead me on the road that I must walk.

    Favorite quote: “It is a place void of music yet full of noise, empty of purpose but ever-warring.”

    Like

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