When Life Loses Its Taste

There are seasons, it seems, when life loses its taste. By that I mean that the things that once tasted savory or sweet no longer taste like anything, like sand.

I don’t believe, I don’t want or choose to believe, that these seasons are healthy, normal, nor helpful. I don’t believe they are indicative of reality – meaning a loss of taste does not mean a loss of an ability to taste. When life loses its taste, it is more likely a symptom of a deeper problem.

It could very well be that the issue is that one has had an appetite for the worthless. Like cheap chewing gum, worthless things lose their taste quickly and just become a chore to chew. The often-attempted solution is to get more gum, only to repeat the above cycle of disappointment.

Or, perhaps the things that should be joyful and rewarding don’t feel that way. I say, “don’t feel that way” because it is a feeling, not a reality. Relationships, family, hard work, achievement and improvement – those are all time-tested, God-ordained tasty morsels. They are gifts that meet the nutritional needs of our soul. So, what makes them taste bland?

If life loses its taste, it is because a lie has numbed our tongue. We tasted a lie. Some deceitful, discouraging accusation about God, ourselves, or the circumstances around us has been offered to us like the proverbial apple-in-the-garden and “chomp!” we’ve lost our taste. Things feel sad. The music of hope isn’t heard. The anticipation of good (joy) is flat. “What’s the use?” “I don’t care.” Passion disappears. Then comes cynicism, accompanied by criticism. If I can’t taste it, I don’t believe others can either; “who are they kidding?” Of course, this is quietly accompanied by deep jealousy over the apparent taste others are enjoying, but to acknowledge that someone else is experiencing a genuinely joyful moment is to acknowledge it is possible, and that the problem may not be “out there” as much as it is “in here.” Life hasn’t lost its taste, I have.

So, how do we recover? If a lie has displaced our taste, then the lie must be replaced. It isn’t easy to go lie-hunting; that too often leads to tail-chasing, introspective, too-much-like-Freud behavior. Instead of trying to look for the lie (which has already hidden itself into the landscape of your life), turn to truth. Just turn your eyes, your heart, your will, toward what is true. This seems to be what the Psalmist so often did, “I will…”

Consider Psalm 9:

  • I will give thanks to you Lord, with all my heart
    • Deliberate gratitude, fervently and deeply expressed gratitude is one of the most powerful and proven means of increasing our joy. It re-calibrates our thinking and speaking away from “woe is me” and forces a focus on the good we have received, and the good-will behind it.
  • I will tell of your wonderful deeds,
    • Rehearsing testimony and repeating good news strengthens our faith and repaints the canvass of our imagination with the truth of what the Lord has done.
  • I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your Name, O most high.
    • It is possible, it is prescribed, and it is powerful – to rejoice on purpose. Yes, literally just get-your-joy-on. It is like deciding to get out of bed. You just get up. And it isn’t a joy that is superficial or based on a mood or whim; it is a joy that is rooted in the person, nature – the Name of the Lord. Rejoicing in Him and because of Him is like slipping a long straw into the refreshing waters of eternal joy. We taste and see that the Lord is good. We rejoice in Him: His word, His ways, His will, His works, and then hope rises. Our perspective changes. Our countenance and conversation changes. Our taste-buds return.

When truth regains its rightful place, the power of the lie atrophies and dies. In fact, only when we first and most satisfy ourselves with gratitude, trust, and praise toward the Lord will we be able to enjoy the taste of all the things He graciously provides for our pleasure.

May you enjoy the feast available to you today – with thanksgiving.


Starting and Finishing Your Day Better


“It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening” (Psalm 92:2)

What if I did that?

I think there is more than just poetic rhythm here. Often I’ve read a phrase like this and wondered, “what if I did that?” I don’t mean just give thanks or sing praise (v. 1), I mean literally, actually proclaiming (stating, celebrating, meditating upon) His unfailing love in the morning (like, when I first get up and as I go about the early moments of my day) and actually proclaiming (stating, celebrating, reflecting upon) His faithfulness in the evening (before I initiate the days-end rituals, and as I lie staring at the dark ceiling before sleep takes me). What if I did that?

What if my mornings were greeted by grateful and praise-filled thoughts and words of God’s unfailing love? I can’t think of a better way to begin a day. Consider the bright hope that would be painted across the canvas of my imagination. Think of the peace that would join the start of each day’s journey. Imagine the confidence, the anticipation of good, and the readiness to rejoice. And, I wonder how much more I might be quick to lavish love on others. What if I did that?

And then, what if my evenings were tucked-in with grateful and praise-filled thoughts and words of God’s faithfulness? I could savor the goodness of God. I could view the day’s events through the lens of God’s faithfulness, and fuel the faith for the day to come with the burning coals of gratitude from today. Imagine the peace that would accompany my rest. Consider the potential of displacing of regret, resentment, and discontent with gladness, gratitude, and trust. And imagine what hope will greet my morning. What if I did that?

What if you did?

Thanks for reading,


When is it okay to eat off someone else’s plate?



There is something sacred about the parameters of a plate. That is just some really personal space there. To sneak a nibble off a stranger’s plate is among the more indelicate actions conceivable. There is a pretty big difference between walking through a restaurant and noticing that what someone has ordered looks good, and deciding to find out on the spot for yourself if it is tasty. Pardon me, mind if I have a sip of your soup? In general, unless you’re dealing with toddlers-who-need-bites or spouses-who-wish-they-ordered-what-you-did, you simply do not eat off someone else’s plate. That is, unless we apply it to Thanksgiving.

No, I don’t mean that at the thanksgiving table one should be free to sample other’s side dishes or (by any means) mooch my mashed potatoes. I mean thanksgiving as in the act of giving thanks—gratitude.

Gratitude is the one arena where I can freely enjoy eating off of other’s plates. I can celebrate and give thanks for what is happening in the life of a friend, a family member, or even a complete stranger. I can give thanks to God for my friend’s promotion, for my brother’s new job, for the sweet deal on a new dryer that a lady in my church found. I give thanks for the stories I hear from around the world where love has overcome hostility, where faith has risen from failure, and where compassion has confronted suffering. I can (and do) give thanks for the stories of God’s grace at work in lives of people who lived and died generations ago.  I don’t even need permission to eat off of other’s plates when it comes to gratitude. I can eat to my heart’s content. The grateful heart has a continuous buffet.

What if my own plate is lacking? What if it seems like all I have are some crumbs and some wilted garnish while someone else’s plate seems to be overflowing gravy-goodness? Well, I have two options: I can fuss and feud. I can complain about my lack and criticize the injustice of what others have. I can sulk in my sadness. I can do that as long as I want to. I will then be no happier, no more content, no more hopeful, no more generous, and no more full than I was earlier. And my plate will still appear quite empty. OR I can give thanks for the grace I see in other’s lives. As I do, the first thing that will happen is my own joy will increase – because gratitude always leads to greater joy. Further, celebrating the victories and joys in others’ lives encourages my own soul. The same God that is at work in the lives of family, friends, and total strangers is the same God who loves me and knows my name. Gratitude for God’s goodness in other’s lives testifies to God’s ability and willingness to cause His goodness to prevail in my own life. The more stuff on other’s plates that I see, the more evidence I have for hope. So I will feast off of the full plates of others for the sake of my own soul.

Finally, I should note that a curious thing about gratitude is its powerful effect on perspective. Giving thanks helps me see just how much I am blessed. My plate is nowhere as barren as I imagined. In fact, I probably have enough for others to start eating off of my plate.

Happy Thanksgiving.

~ Dav