Psalm 73Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them. 
And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken
and rebuked every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength  of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
God has been gracious to me in opening my eyes to how I have turned away from Him to find healing. We are coming up on one of "those anniversaries" that I’d rather shoot myself in the head than celebrate. At the end of March 2009, we moved out of our beloved house and became nomads. I knew that with this "holiday" approaching that I’d probably be experiencing something, but wasn’t sure what. Until now.
It appears that I’ve been using the sport that I love (basketball) as a way to feel good about myself and find some satisfaction in being good at it. Last night, I played against some guys that I’d grown up with and played with in high school and God decided to use that night for me to play terribly. At a time where I most wanted to "measure up" and wanted their respect, I fell short and left the game really feeling down. Rather than forget about the game, I felt God pushing me to think deeper on what I was feeling.
He opened my eyes to the fact that rather than dealing with the hurt, rejection and failure that has been looming under the surface of my life, I’ve replaced those feelings with false feelings of success and having others think highly of me because of my ability (that God has given me) to play basketball fairly well. Rather than turning to God, who not only accepts me fully but is fully for me and loves me not for who I am or what I do, but for who He is – I chose to find parts of those feelings of acceptance in recreation.
This morning, after playing another terrible outing of basketball, God reminded me of Psalm 73 (I couldn’t remember which psalm it was as I was driving, but looked it up when I got home). It fits me like a new pair of underwear – at first it’s restricting, but then – after awhile, it becomes a part of you (sorry, that’s from Wayne’s World and I couldn’t resist…) Especially the ending (in italics) – it is good for me to be near God. He is where I find my greatest satisfaction, and he is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.