“The antipsalm tells what life feels like and looks like whenever God vanishes from sight: the “I’m-all-alone-in-the-universe” experience. The antipsalm captures the drivenness and pointlessness of life-purposes that become petty, and thus self-defeating. It expresses the fears and silent despair that cannot find a voice. There’s no one to really talk to, no one who really cares. Something bad gets last say, when whatever I live for is not God, when how I’m living forgets what’s so.”
I’m on my own.
No one looks out for me or protects me.
I’m always restless. I’m easily frustrated and often disappointed.
It’s a jungle – I feel overwhelmed. It’s a desert – I’m thirsty.
My soul feels broken, twisted, and stuck. I can’t fix myself.
I stumble down some dark paths.
Still, I insist: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
But life’s confusing. Why don’t things ever really work out?
I’m haunted by emptiness and futility – shadows of death.
I fear the big hurt and final loss.
Death is waiting for me at the end of every road,
but I’d rather not think about that.
I spend my life protecting myself. Bad things can happen.
I find no lasting comfort.
I’m alone… facing everything that could hurt me.
Are my friends really friends?
Other people use me for their own ends.
I can’t really trust anyone. No one has my back.
No one is really for me – except me.
And I’m so much all about ME, sometimes it’s sickening.
I belong to no one except myself.
My cup is never quite full enough. I’m left empty.
Disappointment follows me all the days of my life.
Will I just be obliterated into nothingness?
Will I be alone forever, homeless, free-falling into void?
Sartre said, “Hell is other people.”
I have to add, “Hell is also myself.”
It’s a living death, and then I die.
“But the antipsalm doesn’t tell the final story…”
“It only becomes my reality when I construct my reality from a lie. In reality, someone else is the center of the story. Nobody can make Jesus go away. The I AM was, is and will be, whether or not people acknowledge. When we awaken, as we see who Jesus actually is, everything changes. You see the person whose care and ability you can trust. You experience his care. You see the person whose glory you are meant to worship. You love him who loves you. The real Psalm 23 captures what life feels like and looks like when Jesus Christ takes you in hand, when he puts his hand on your shoulder, when he takes your hand.”
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
“Can you taste the difference?”