John Ortberg, in his book "The Life You’ve Always Wanted," talks about the practice of celebration. When I first read this book I was astounded by this chapter. How often had I equated discipline with punishment, becoming like Christ with painful work, and the Christian life with drudgery. This is not what God intends for us! We can practice finding joy. We can be disciplined to choose delight in God’s goodness over the drudgery of self.
The Old Testament is full of feast days to help us interrupt our busy lives to taste and see that the Lord is Good! Our singing, eating and dancing with people we love can focus on the great God who gave these wonderful gifts to us.
Children often celebrate the simplest details. My two year old can be ecstatic to just get his shoes on the correct feet! Sometimes he will even take them off just to do it again!! So when Jesus tells us to become like children in order to see the kingdom of heaven Matthew 18:3, could it be that child-like joy is the key?
G. K. Chesterton, a Christian writer and apologist, explains about child-like joy in his book “Orthodoxy:”
What will you celebrate today? A God that is always giving us gifts? Or will your celebration be limited by a grasping for personal gratification? As John Ortberg put it “Personal gratification always follows the law of diminishing returns, so that what produce joy in us yesterday no longer does today… Celebration is not like that. When we celebrate, we exercise our ability to see and feel goodness in the simplest gifts of God. We are able to take delight today in something we wouldn’t have even noticed yesterday. Our capacity for joy increases.”
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 to exult in monotony. 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. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.
Write us here, "at the blog," and tell us about where you found joy in God today.… Where did you see God say “Do it again!”