“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place- what is mankind that you are mindful of them? Human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You have made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. God, brilliant Lord, your name echoes around the world“
– Psalm 8:3-9
I love to read outside, don’t you? Especially the Bible. There’s nothing like reading a book about Heaven and Earth, sitting in a place where you can see them.
Psalm 8:3-9. It only took me a few seconds to type it out, but boy have those words been around for a long time. Did you know David (shepherd boy, turned musician, turned giant killer, turned King) first scribbled them into existence in 1015 B.C.? Now here I sit, more than three thousand years later, staring at the same string of words, grateful and awestruck, just like the guy who took the time to make sure I would find them all these years later. Here I sit, inspired to make sure other folks see them too.
And then there’s Matthew Maury.
He has a special connection to Psalm 8 as well. Have you heard his story? He was in the Navy back in the 1800s and this is how part of it goes…
At age 33, his naval career abruptly came to an end after he fell off the top of a stagecoach. Long story short, he gave up his seat (inside) to a female passenger and was injured when the driver lost control, the coach overturned, and he flew off the top. His right leg suffered multiple fractures and he was forced to give up his days at sea. While bedridden, he asked one of his daughters to read from the Bible. She chose Psalm 8. When she finished, he repeated, “The paths of the sea, the paths of the sea, the paths of the sea”, and announced, “If God says the paths of the sea, they are there, and if I ever get out of this bed I will find them!” In an instant, that tiny little sentence jumped off the page and instilled a great big belief in Matthew Maury. He began to devote his time to the study of navigation, meteorology, winds, and currents, and when he was finally able, he got to work sailing. Shortly thereafter, he made a history-changing discovery. He proved that ships could use winds and currents to cross the ocean faster. How? He found a path in the sea. Eventually, his data was used to develop charts for all the major trade routes and ships still use them to travel faster to this day. Today, Matthew Maury is nicknamed “Pathfinder of the Seas”. Isn’t that incredible? I love hearing stories about how the Bible keeps reaching down to all of us who read it.
(Matthew Maury monument in Richmond, VA. Wind & current charts in one hand, a pencil & compass in the other…the Bible on the floor by his foot.)
God, brilliant Lord, you name still echoes around the world…on paper pages…and on my porch.
PS- Have I told you about our wonderful porch swing? It’s from the folks at Four Oak Bed Swings. They’re local folks but they offer free nationwide shipping. Here’s a link to their site if you’re in the market: Four Oak Bed Swings.