Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Delight and Frivolity

I've been thinking.

Darby from Fly Through our Window recently had a post, "The Sacrament of Living," and quoted The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, a French 17th-century monk. I haven't read the book, but she talks about the idea that "it is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it," which touched on a topic that has sort of been floating around me lately. I love the idea of dialogue and overlap between the supposedly sacred and secular elements of our lives and how daily life and the things we most enjoy doing can be sacred.

I think about (I'm sure I'll butcher the plot) based-on-a-true-story Chariots of Fire, where a young man's family wanted him to become a missionary and believed that a spiritual profession was the only way to live out a life for God, but the young man was a talented runner and felt pulled to run. He had a gift and enjoyed exercising it. (Get it? Exercising it? Ahem...) I think he became the first person to run a four minute mile, and the young man's career and story end up touching many, many people because he followed the supposed frivolous talents he'd been given.

The quote that I remember from the movie was something along the lines of "God smiles when I run." And don't you love the idea of that? I love that God smiles at the small, beautiful, even mundane tasks in our lives when we do them with purpose. I love that our pleasure isn't mutually exclusive from grander pleasure and plan, that things don't have to be practical to be valuable.

How about a list of things I want to do with purpose and delight?

  • Baking sweet cornbread with a golden, just crispy crust on top
  • Playing with Lu
  • Reconciling our accounts in QuickBooks at work
  • Writing essays to apply for a fall teaching/research assistantship
  • Doing lunges at the gym
  • Watching it snow (again!)
  • Planning cupcake flavors for a party this weekend
  • Cutting Carter's hair

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