If you follow sports, you see it happen repeatedly: the best player gets
a huge raise, the most money anyone has ever made for playing this
game. The next thing you know, the player is in a slump. Unable to
hit, run, throw, catch, or kick/shoot/slap straight. Being “the best”
comes with tons of pressure that is hard for humans to handle.
That’s why the psalmist—among a host of biblical writers—keeps reminding us that God is No. 1. The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble!… [God] is exalted over all the peoples…. Extol the LORD our God (vv. 1, 2, 5). This reminder counters human nature, which insists we are the special ones. That’s why retailers make millions telling us, “You deserve it” and “You’re worth it.” This is why people buy bigger houses, faster cars, and fancier clothes. It’s why marriages and friendships dissolve. And why multitudes seem to have a hole in their hearts that they can’t seem to fill.
Meanwhile, being who we are, we get annoyed with all the talk
of “Extol the Lord our God.” Some wonder: “Why is God’s ego so
fragile? Why does God want us to paw, scrape, and praise?”
But what if we set these psalms and other praise-God passages
alongside other biblical truth? Like how God loves the world so
much, God took on vulnerable human flesh to make sure we know
we’re loved infinitely. Like how, out of all the words in the world,
“love” is the one that best defines God.
God knows that being God is too much for us to handle. God
knows that if we give up trying to run the world—letting God be God
and us be us—then we’ll finally be happy.
What burden is too heavy to carry? How can you give that burden to God, let God be God, and revel in God’s love?
God, when we’re so full of ourselves that we think we can do your job, forgive us. Help us right-size our ambition and leave the results to you. Amen.