Growing up, my family concluded every dinner by reading a passage from the Bible, or a page from a devotional. Psalm 100 was a popular choice. We had it bookmarked with a pressed flower petal.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
By the time I was eight-years-old, I had heard this psalm so many times I had memorized it. This stands out as one of my favorite childhood memories because it was my first personal step towards God. I went to bed reciting the psalm, imagining what entering His gates with thanksgiving looked like. Lots of dinner rolls, I thought.
It’s been 20 years since I committed Psalm 100 to memory. I have since fallen away from the church, and returned again as an adult. (Shoutout to New Vintage!) But over the years, regardless of where I was in my relationship with God, I turned to Psalm 100 when I felt the need to pray but couldn’t find the words.
I am thankful to my parents for building structure into dinner time. Because of them, I feel comforted by routine. And because of them, I turn to the Bible when I miss home.
Studies show that people who take time to journal, read, exercise, or meditate daily are more relaxed and perform better under pressure. It gives them an opportunity to reflect on their emotions, learn from their mistakes, and live in the present.
While I do workout most weekday mornings (yay healthier lifestyle!), I don’t use the time to be introspective. In fact, most evenings Michael and I eat dinner in front of the TV, a habit I’m not proud of. I’m looking for a devotional I can work into my daily routine. Something I can listen to while I’m on the treadmill each morning. Do you have a podcast (religious or not) that you love to listen to regularly?
And, to answer your burning question, Yes, I can still recite Psalm 100 from memory. It’s one of my crazier party tricks.
Happy Easter, everyone!