Sunday, June 14, 2009

Creation and the good things of life

Apropos of this weekend's sermon, here's a thought from Merton about enjoyment:
It gives great glory for God for a person to live in this world using and appreciating the good things of life without care, without anxiety, and without inordinate passion. In order to know and love God through His gifts, we have to use them as if we used them not (I Corinthians 7:31)—and yet we have to use them. For to use things as if we used them not means to use them without selfishness, without fear, without afterthought, and with perfect gratitude and confidence and love of God.
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, p. 100
Our sermon this weekend made the related point that when we stand in wonder at creation, it helps us to relax, to slow down, to cease striving, as we're told in Psalm 46:10 (NASB NIV). When I consider the heavens, the work of God's hands, my own sense of importance fades (Psalm 8); I get a little perspective on just how important my plans and projects really aren't.

When we enjoy the good things of this life, we proclaim God's goodness and generosity and faithfulness. Of course I'm relaxed; my master gives me way more good things in this life than I deserve, and I don't believe he's going to change next week or next year. (At least that's how I want to be!)

This is not about sloth; this is about fully enjoying, fully relaxing, fully trusting.

So I'm going to practice. Though I have a busted optiplex GX270 (possibly related to its ancient A02 BIOS interacting with something in OpenSUSE 11.1) I'm going into the great outdoors, to be completely unproductive for a while.

1 comment:

Michael F. Martin said...

Did you see more?