Learning to Delight
It started raining yesterday. Raining not in that quick downpour mode, not in that light sprinkle where you debate about turning the windshield wipers on, but in that steady all-day fashion that welcomes sleep and warm beverages. I had the privilege of teaching on 1 John at our Lockport campus, so I was in and out but the effect of the rain inspired my wife to say, "My soul longs for fall." Fall is a time of year that she delights in, and I have to admit she's making a slow convert of me. Pumpkin patches, hot tea, college football afternoons, and the smell of leaves sprinting toward humus make it a wonderful time. I'm beginning to delight in fall.
Regardless of what we may think or say to others, we live very pragmatic and functional lives. We live looking for shortcuts, shorthand, quick meals and ready answers.
There's nothing wrong, at the core, with this approach to life because there is much to do and opportunities to influence the world with the grand narrative of Christ seem to reproduce as we pursue them. It is, however, an imbalanced way to live if that's our only mode of operation. We have to begin to learn to love "fall", in a sense.
We have to learn to delight - again.
If you watch a child, their delicate hands moving over toys or simple objects, you realize they can spend hours doing one thing that requires little motivation or order but produces an inordinate amount of joy. How do they do that? They know how to delight, that's how.
In Psalm 119, the writer uses the word "delight" over and over again in reference to God's law and commandments. He delights in them - regardless of whether there is trouble or other competing desires, the writer muses that the commands and boundaries of God give him reason for delight and joy and wonder.
It is possible, honestly, that we've lost the ability to delight because we have experienced things in life that caused leave our innocence behind and become cynical and jaded toward the world.
But what if we've lost the ability to delight because we have forgotten where true delight begins - living within the boundaries of love of God and love of neighbor (Matt. 22:37-40)?
If we are going to live out a compelling vision of the Kingdom of God, we have to find our way back to delighting in the "fall" of God's grace through His direction to us.
So what are you delighting in today?