Perishables need to be preserved. We pickle them, we freeze them, we dry them – that’s what we commonly do for food to keep it from going bad.
A similar experience holds true for the core of our being. We go through the heat of temptations, we experience a dry season, we find ourselves in a pickle and we’re exposed to coldness as some of our relationships cool down. All of this represents a challenge, but at the same time these experiences work to the benefit of our integrity as a person.
It’s no secret that life can be tough, but I have come to believe that toughness of life is our preservative. Just imagine a life without challenge for a minute. There is no obstacle to take, no mountains to climb, no battle to wage, and we have absolutely nothing to contribute to this universe. Sitting around in a perfect garden without any maintenance to do is no gardener’s dream. We need to pour love and sweat into a project to feel the satisfaction of a job well done. Uselessness is a killer. The moment we begin to feel inconsequential is the moment when depression sets in.
Disengaged, we’re all prone to depression. And in that respect we are not unlike perishables. We need protection from depression or we disintegrate just like food that is exposed to bacteria. So here comes King David’s recipe. Quoting from his insightful prayers, we read in Psalm 119, the longest Psalm in the Bible:
“I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”
Going through this tumultuous life without a GPS is crazy. We need to face our challenges. There is no way around it. But just like negotiating the desert without water or going out into a storm without the proper equipment is a suicide mission, negotiating life without a moral compass is just as well our death sentence. The conscience God put inside of us represents crucial equipment. Maintaining our God-given tool, however, is our responsibility.
Our moral compass is our GPS. That’s what maintains our integrity and keeps us safe. We need to use it as we go out and make it a great day.