Reflections on the Good Life

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Psalm 16:1-11

A wonderful sense of contentment pervades this psalm as David reflects on a rewarding, fulfilled life that is rooted in his clear understanding of the presence and guidance of God. This is reflected in his testimony that “apart from God I have no good thing.” David’s opening prayer, “Keep me safe,” is appropriate for us, given the contemporary emphasis on material things and pleasure, along with pervasive advertising, which tends to rob us of contentment with the blessings we have received.

David’s first thought is his friends, “the saints in the land,” in whose fellowship he finds great delight. Caring, thoughtful friends in Christ, including family members and persons from other cultures, can challenge us, be models for us and wonderfully enrich our lives. The well-known phrase, “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places,” is a poignant reminder that our Christian heritage can be a wonderful resource to form our values, nurture our character and encourage faith. Are we fulfilling this responsibility to the next generation?

As David daily “sets the Lord before him,” he receives God’s counsel, even at night. Have you ever experienced this? He also was given insights into God’s purposes for him beyond this life and a foretaste of eternal pleasures.


Guide me, Lord, into a fulfilled life. Thank you for Christian friends, a good heritage and your presence in my life. Amen.