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April 29, 2020

In the low mood, the mere man acts alone,
Moved by impulses which, if from within,
Yet far outside the center man begin;
But in the grand mood, every softest tone
Comes from the living God at very heart–
From thee who infinite core of being art,
Thee who didst call our names ere ever we could sin.

          –from Diary of an Old Soul by George McDonald

The Grand Mood by Alvin Rogness

We all have moods. Sometimes everything looks dark and we hardly know why. We get up in the morning and wonder why we can’t sing. Nothing really bad has happened to us, but we are gloomy.

Fortunately God has not commanded that we have one mood or another. He knows we have our ups and downs. “He knows our frame, says the psalmist, “he remembers that we are dust.” We have fears and anxieties when at the moment there is nothing to be afraid of.

Of course, as the hymn writer says, “We walk in danger all the way.” But we also walk with God all the way. If we let our minds imagine all the possible things that could go wrong, we will live constantly with fear.

But God wants to give us the grand mood. He doesn’t want us to probe into our own minds and hearts to find it, nor into the world around us. He wants us to keep our eyes on him. Remember that Peter began to sink when, walking toward Jesus on the Sea of Galilee, he took his eyes off Jesus to look at the billowing waves around him.

And what do we see when we focus on Jesus? We see a Lord who loves us so much that he died on a cross for us. We see a God “who, from our mothers’ arms, has blessed us on our way.”

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Ps. 23:6).

Alvin Rogness (1906-1992) was president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, from 1955-1974.

Photo: M. Kilby – 2019 Music Camp Musical “Light of Life – Signs of the Savior”