“Above all who teach me have I gained understanding, for your testimonies are my meditation. Above my elders have I received understanding, for after your commandments have I sought.” (Ps 118/119: 99-100)
Aren’t these Psalm-verses shocking, in light of our Church’s understanding of “obedience,” I mean, to “teachers” and “elders”? Am I really supposed to gain/receive “understanding” beyond and “above all who teach me,” and “above my elders”?
Yes of course I am, eventually. Because that is the way we mature, in the circle of life. We are meant to mature and grow up, above and beyond our “teachers” and “elders.” They will die and pass on, but we will live on. We are never to disregard or dishonor them, but we are, nonetheless, meant to grow up and stand on our own two feet, in the light and in the “meditation” of God’s “testimonies” and “commandments,” passed on to us by them.
I know, we have this postmodern anxiety before decision-making and responsibility. And we readily seek after “elders” or even gurus to tell us what do to. But let me not shy away from grown-up decisions and responsibilities, on my cross-carrying journey, as one who is called to grow and “gain understanding,” in Christ. Let His “testimonies” be my “meditation” today, as it says in this Psalm, written down for me. And let me seek after His commandments, because that is what I am meant to do, – to grow and mature, and bring fruit, as an adult in Him.