Then Sulks My Soul

I think my spirit gets a little pouty every now and then. It’s a spoiled rotten little spirit, mind you, and the things that inspire the pouting are most often quite trivial. Like having to get a new phone and not being able to keep the old number. Or like when you’ve been thinking about that last Ding Dong all day and then find somebody ate it and left the empty box. I so hate to admit this, but I’m just climbing out of a ridiculous pouty-mope right now. The other day I sighed so hard I’m pretty sure my neighbors felt a breeze. Embarrassing. To add to it, as usually happens when I’m brooding, suddenly I hated all my clothes. I’m not sure exactly why, but sulkiness always seems to bring out the worst in my closet. It’s not that I necessarily want new clothes even. It’s more that I become discontent with absolutely everything and I’m convinced I need a different body to put inside the clothes I already have. It doesn’t matter that I know I’m to blame, I still blame the closet. Goofy closet. When I’m overwhelmed or blue or hormonal or discontent or just plain pouty, there’s one thing that can snap me back around like nothing else. It’s dwelling on the Lord. Not just passively thinking. No, really and truly meditating. Contemplating to the point of being overwhelmed and undone by the glorious God of all joy. It’s an altogether better “overwhelmed.” “I greatly rejoice in the Lord, I exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness,” (Isaiah 61:10, HCSB). The New Living says, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!” As I focus on Him and

Where’s the Remote?

Oh, the things we do to keep from having to get up off the sofa. “Do you have the remote?” “No. You had it last.” “You sure you don’t have it? Get up.” I’m not sure why there are places in the deepest recesses of the couch where the remote becomes completely invisible. There must be an entrance into some kind of parallel TV universe in there. Incidentally, the first time I heard they were making a “universal remote,” I thought we finally had something that would help with the searches. Oh how disappointing it was to find out it only covered one universe—and that it didn’t include remotes in any universes. At some point in the remote recovery process in most homes, someone usually sighs heavily and says, “What? I’m supposed to get up, walk across the room and touch the TV buttons with my hands? Like some kind of barbarian?” Maybe it’s even more frustrating when you finally find the remote and, lo and behold, the batteries are dead. You press the button several more times. Then press harder. You bang the remote on the arm of the sofa a few times. Not because any of that works, but because it’s easier than getting up to get new batteries. Or walking across the room to push the buttons on the TV. Like a barbarian. So what about our faith life? Would a remote control make it simpler? Nah, probably not. We’re called to more of a hands-on kind of faith. Sometimes we have to get up. We have to walk. Faith that doesn’t result in action is as dead as a battery-less remote. It’s powerless. Useless. “In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself,” (James 2:17, HCSB). That kind of faith is


I’ve discovered something rather disturbing about myself:  I’m a salad dressing whiny-baby. It’s not like I’m even all that into salad. I think we all know I’d rather have chocolate. Or coffee. Or chocolate mixed with coffee. But the other day I found myself with a salad that needed something that neither coffee nor chocolate could fix (though it took me several minutes to come to grips with that). So there I sat trying all the salad dressings. All of them. I even mixed a few—like some sort of mad scientist. The first dressing was too tart. The next one, too sweet. Then the next one was just too…orange. That’s when I figured out that I was not so much a mad scientist. No. I was Goldilocks. When did I become so dressing-spoiled? It doesn’t even comfort me all that much that I’m not the only one. God’s chosen people had wandered in the desert for 40 years because they had chosen not to trust the Lord. When they finally stood poised to enter the land of promise, instead of the “now you can all relax” message they might’ve expected, they got more of a “don’t get too spoiled” warning. “Be careful that you don’t forget the Lord your God by failing to keep His command…When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 8:11-14, HCSB). In the verses just prior to these, the people are reminded to be diligent in their obedience to God because “the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land…a land of wheat, barley,