Truly I love your commandments more than gold, more than fine gold.
May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew;
like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth.
Here’s a question, which would you rather have: Grass or Gold? Just to make it interesting, let’s make it either or. If you choose gold, you can’t have grass. If you choose grass, you can’t have gold. Which would you choose?
Now if you choose gold, you get a lump of heavy, malleable metal. It’s good for making pretty, but not sturdy things, it works great on computer circuit boards. And if you choose grass, you get a carpet soft under your bear feet, a wonderful place to wrestle with the children or play croquet or fly a kite. Which would you choose?
Here’s another question: which would you rather be: Grass or Gold? This time we will use the scriptural imagery offered in the Bible. In most of the passages that refer to gold, it is just the precious and prestigious metal. However, as we see above in Psalm 119 gold is contrasted with God’s law. The most precious of materials, from a human point of view, hold nothing to the beauty of life lived in God’s way. The reality of life, real life, is so much better than all our human determined values.
In the same way, many of the passages about grass refer to the transience of life, for example: “the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Lord lasts forever.” But in some places, like the passage in Deuteronomy quoted above, grass is a metaphor for humans who in relation to God are gently bathed in the rains of God’s word. Here the grass derives its life from God, it is utterly dependent upon God, and it grows.
We humans have made a world consumed with the search for Gold. Gold does have its place, although it can be and many times is terribly misused. On the other hand, God has made a world filled with life that, like grass is dependent upon the rain, that world interacts and dances with him.
Spring keeps starting and stopping around here in Colorado. It’s 70 degrees and then it blizzards. But soon that is done and the gardening will commence in earnest. Why I might even take off my shoes.