Pastor’s Corner

Jim Mann

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)

We live in an increasingly mobile society. With the advances in technology and the increase in folks working from home, it’s easier than ever to move, to explore new places, and bounce around. Since COVID-19, it’s easier to shop, dine, and even stay home and watch church online.

But the freedom of movement and our increased ability to access the world online come with a cost. We’re lonely and unfulfilled, disconnected and unsatisfied.

The Germans have a word for this: wanderlust—the strong desire for wandering—desire to move around. For some it’s physical, but for others it is emotional, intellectual, or even spiritual.

I heard of an American factory that moved its plant to South America back in the ‘50s. They stood to make a huge profit from the cheap labor. The wages they paid in South America were a pittance to U.S. wages but were a fortune to those workers. They quickly filled every position in the factory.

But something strange happened as the first paychecks were handed out. The next day, no one showed up for work. In two weeks’ time, the laborers had earned a year’s salary, so everyone quit!

Management had no idea what to do until someone came up with a brilliant idea. They sent every employee a Sears Roebuck catalog. People discovered they weren’t quite as wealthy as they thought. They saw what they could buy with their newfound wealth and suddenly became unfulfilled. They saw that the grass was greener at Sears, and they returned to work.

The opposite is happening today. Maybe you’ve heard of the new trend, “quiet quitting”? Having a job just for a paycheck without any emotional or intellectual dedication—just doing the bare minimum to stay employed. In both scenarios, there’s no commitment.

Psalm 1 paints a picture of the difference between the righteous and the wicked. The righteous person is planted in God’s word. The wicked person is blown around like chaff by wanderlust.

The Psalms themselves are an amazing collection of songs and poems compiled over many years and eventually put in this collection of 150. There is a very logical order to them, as they are meant to describe a journey.

Psalm 150, the last one, is an incredible hymn of praise in the sanctuary of God. It says, in essence, “We finally made it!” In the intervening 149 psalms there are ups and downs, pain, regret, fear, joy, faith, hope, repentance … you know—we call it “life.” But Psalm 1 is the starting point of the journey.

Ironically, the journey begins by being planted. We’d love for you to join us at New Life Church and grow roots with us!

Jim Mann, Ph.D., pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. and online at 10 a.m. Visit for more information or visit his blog at