Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Exulting in Monotony

My children love watching the same shows over and over. It seems they never get tired of watching the same video. They love reading and re-reading the same stories. A child has an amazing ability to do what Chesterton called “exult in monotony.”

Interestingly though, as we get older and more "mature," we get this sense that somehow we've graduated beyond this. We hear sermons and think to ourselves, "I've heard this before," or "I already know this story," or "I know this passage." Yet, do we? We may have that passage "down," but has the passage been given space to get "us down"?

Perhaps we've mastered the text, but has it mastered us?

I was challenged deeply this morning as I read and reflected on something G.K. Chesterton wrote in his book Orthodoxy:

“A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say,

"Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead.

For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.

But perhaps God is strong enough...

It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again," to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again," to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” (G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith, 31)

1 comment:

a.rogers said...

man, what a thought! way to pass on the things you read and learn... we are all thankful:)