Bringing the Text to Life

The Happiness of Being Dirty Psalm 40:1-11

The Happiness of Being Dirty

When we're in a murky and muddy place, following some basic steps can help us to move up and out.

At a Glance

Researchers say there's a chemical in dirt which is a type of antidepressant and that it interacts with neurons in much the same way as doctor-prescribed antidepressant medications. No wonder that many people enjoy gardening and working with soil. It makes them feel good. But, in this psalm, David does not feel too good in a situation he describes as a "desolate pit" and a "miry bog."

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's gospel text, see "Rethinking Retirement," January 16, 2011, at

We've all been there. The moment we're ready to turn in our resignation, suffocating under the stress of the job, and it's only Monday. The moment we realize everything our mom said was right. The moment our 2-year-old's vocabulary is limited to the word "No!" The moment the SUV is making sputtering noises, and the bank account is running on empty. The moment we have to pretend to be happy for someone.

Moments like this. We've...

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