A Community of Support
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
- Psalm 127
Here’s the psalm in its entirety. In our reflection on rest, it’s very easy to stop reading the psalm at the mention of sleep. What’s this poetry about children have to do with restlessness?
The psalm zooms around the ground of our restlessness. We pull back from the house to the city. We switch over to considering working rhythms. And then we step back to look at a generational perspective.
Carry a big enough dream and you run the risk that your ambition will be bigger than one lifetime’s work. And there’s the potential that you’ll need allies who can be trusted, who will hang with you through thick and thin, and who will be loyal. In the ancient world, people would leverage their fertility to build their own companies, their own teams, their own armies.
In Christ, we’re looped into a new kind of family. This family is larger than any you could build with mere biology, even in 10 generations. In this new family, we discover opportunities for many of our dreams to come true in surprising ways. We no longer have to hurry and hustle to rustle up or raise up our allies.
The same Lord who gives shelter and security and sleep also gives support to those who dream the dreams he so generously gives.
Where have you seen the Lord provide support to the pursuit of your healthy dreams? When have you been invited by the Lord to jump in and support someone in their attempts to engage the world for good?