The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want…
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside the still waters,
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23 v 1-3
Not at every moment of our lives, Heaven knows, but at certain rare moments of greenness and stillness, we are shepherded by the knowledge that though all is far from right with any world you and I know anything about, all is right deep down. All will be right at last.
I suspect that is at least part of what ‘He leads me in the paths of righteousness’ is all about. It means righteousness not just in the sense of doing right but in the sense of being right – being right with God, trusting the deep down rightness of the life God has created for us and in us and riding that trust the way a red-tailed hawk rides the currents of the air…
I suspect that the paths of righteousness He leads us in are more than anything else the paths of trust like that and the kind of life that grows out of that trust; that is the shelter the Shepherd calls us to with a bale in either hand when the wind blows bitter and the shadows are dark.
Frederick Buechner, Listening to your life, p179-180.