Are You A Stick-in-the-Mud?

Scott McChrystal beauty creation God peace psalm travel

Reading the Bible can be very convicting. This morning Psalm 111:2 (ESV) really caught my attention: “Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.” The Message puts it this way: “GOD's works are so great, worth a lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!”

What’s my point? Bottom line up front: I’ve been a stick-in-the-mud. The Cambridge Dictionary defines this term as “someone who is old-fashioned and too serious and avoids enjoyable activities.” An alternate definition is “old fogy.”

Wow—not flattering, but true. For decades I have been passionate about studying God’s Word—my family will attest to that. But they can also attest to the fact that my delight and curiosity about the world around us hasn’t exactly been inspirational, especially as it relates my willingness to travel around, see different places, and enjoy new experiences. Don’t worry—I’ve always had “good” excuses: growing up,   my family rarely did any travel except when my dad’s military career necessitated a PCS (Permanent Change of Station); or, I spent over three decades in the military, have traveled extensively, and I’m not looking for more “new experiences.”  

Even worse, I am a chaplain/minister. This morning while researching Psalm 11:2, I came across this illustration. Hopefully, though you may not be a member of the clergy, these words will still carry powerful meaning. ('s_works.htm)

An American poet tells us, in one of his letters, how he once met an aged French priest on the Pacific Railway.  The priest told him that he was on a journey round the world, and that he had been put up to that by a dream.  He dreamed that he had died, and he met the good God, who asked him how he liked the world he had come from.  He was obliged to confess that he had not looked at it very much: for the whole time he was there he had been busy getting himself ready to die, and getting other people ready to die -- as if getting ready to die were the chief end of man here below.  When he awoke he resolved that, old as he was, if the good God would only let him stay on in this world a little while longer, he would take a good look at it before he was summoned to pass another such examination.  So he had furnished himself with some little books in physical geography and the like, and was reading, and looking, and thus preparing for the other world by trying to get all the real and Divine good he could out of this earth.
(John Hunter, D.D.)


You’ve heard my confession: I’ve been stick-in-the-mud. Starting NOW, this is going to change. As the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, I am going to make a conscious effort to see and learn more about God’s beautiful creation while I’m still here. (I hope my family won’t be too shocked!)

Great are His works!  

PS- By chance, you’re not a stick-in-the-mud, are you?


Older Post Newer Post

  • Gary on

    I understand Scott. Sometimes I am a stick in the mud and don’t take time to enjoy the beauty around me. Sometimes just sitting on my back porch looking at the beautiful flowers and the blessings of God and looking up into the sky reminds me of the blessings and goodness of God what a marvelous creation he has made. My wife helps me to break out and do new things.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published