These readings are a Psalm praising God and the story of Jesus as he praises the act of stopping to listen to his message rather than do a duty. An interesting combination, one that reminds me on the one hand that we have a LOT to be thankful for. And on the other hand, that it takes a painful event to sometimes remind us of what we are thankful for. A cycle, much like in the Psalm: falling (literally or figuratively), calling to God for help, being redeemed, and praising God.
There's no beginning or end. Are we destined to repeat this? Probably. And it will likely look so different every time we fall that we won't even realize we're in the cycle again. While that may seem depressing at first, it is a cycle, I believe, that leads to growth and wisdom. Nothing makes me feel stronger than coming to the other side of a very painful or sad event. I have no desire to go through pain or suffer anymore - but I know I will. And I know that I will continue to grow. I don't want to give that up.
Pleasure and pain. Growth and death. Praise and forgetfulness. Not just two sides of the coin but 180 degrees from one another in the cycle. A cycle we all have to learn for ourselves, we can't teach it. Well, Jesus could! I certainly am not done learning this cycle. I will continue to fall, to call, and to praise. As will we all. The difference is when and who we call for help. Will those we ask be able? Will we be able to see when help is provided or are we blinded by what we think we need? And when help does come, can we praise, can we thank?
Psalm 107 is one heck of a thank you note to God. Studies have shown that when we take the time to thank those who we feel have helped us it makes us happier. Thanking makes us appreciate more. Thanking helps us love. Thanking is quite possibly the only thing that makes our cycle of pain worthwhile.