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Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut! (07.27.05--Appreciation--Isaiah 12:1-6)
Sometimes you feel like a nut-- and sometimes you don’t. Just another one of those advertising jingles that has bored its way deep into my subconscious. As innocuous as many of these little ditties might seem (and as irritating as they might be to my family since I know hundreds of them), they do come in handy from time to time.
Most of us have moods. Some are moody on a regular, almost predictable basis. Others are blessed with the unpredictable mood; the one that for whatever reason lands like a ton of bricks on us and sticks around like an uninvited guest. Whatever the case, moodiness is something we all struggle with from time to time. That’s when this little jingle comes to mind. “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!” Those who know me know that I will often recite, okay, sing this little ditty when I am confronted with someone’s unexpected mood. It’s just my way of on the one hand identifying the mood and, on the other hand, endeavoring to pry it out and, perhaps, put it to flight.
Moods put us inside of ourselves. They capture our emotions and hold them hostage so that no one else might enter into our little world until the mood leaves and we open up again. Not only is this sad from a personal perspective (since we miss so much going on around us when we have holed up inside of ourselves), it is also sad from a communal perspective. When we are inside of ourselves, we aren’t able to touch others around us. It is hard to appreciate those we love when we have closed the doors of our hearts to everyone but ourselves.
Joylessness inevitably leads to selfishness and an innate inability to see the good in others. When we are joyless, we are not able to praise anyone or anything. While it is okay to not always “feel like a nut,” it isn’t good to go on a “nut” restricted diet. C.S. Lewis wrote: “To praise God fully we must suppose ourselves to be in perfect love with God, drowned in, dissolved by that delight which, far from remaining pent up within ourselves as incommunicable bliss, flows out from us incessantly again in effortless and perfect expression. Our joy is no more separable from the praise in which it liberates and utters itself than the brightness a mirror receives is separable from the brightness it sheds.” (C.S. Lewis.)
When we remain “in love” with our God, we can’t help but give Him the praise that dwells within us. that which can’t be contained. It is this same love that, well, makes us “feel like a nut,” giving us the ability to fight off the “times that we don’t.” Those God has put in our lives, the people that we love, are depending on us to touch them with our “nuttiness” every now and then. As praise is contagious, it only takes one “nut” to start it and everyone benefits.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, said in a sermon entitled, The Heavenly Footman, "It is but a vain thing to talk of going to heaven if thou let thy heart be encumbered with those things that would hinder."
Generosity isn’t always as generous as it might seem. There is a story out of Miami, Florida about six Royal Palm trees that had been vandalized and cut down along Miami’s Flager Street. Due to the expense involved in replacing them Dade County wasn’t sure how soon, if ever. they would be replaced. Along came a generous donation of six new trees. Not only were the trees paid for but they were even planted by the donor.
The former trees had been 15 feet tall and formed a beautif...