Sunday, December 9, 2012

Once more, with just as much feeling

"I, the Lord, do all these things"
Isaiah 45:7

If we were to do a word association about Christmas, there are a lot of words that would come to mind:

Christmas --> lights... 
Christmas --> dinner...   
Christmas --> tree...  
Christmas --> party...

But then there's also this word connection:  Christmas traditions.

Traditions are a wonderful, painful, comforting, dangerous thing.  They don't need thought, so sometimes we do them without thinking.   They bring up memories of times and people past, and sometimes those memories are painful. 

I love Christmas traditions.  I can say that, because I think I have (pretty much) eliminated any tradition that I feel is not worth keeping.  So any that still exist in our home, and in our family, are chosen. 

Thinking about traditions has me remembering something I read this summer.  It was written by G.K. Chesterton, who is also the author of a favorite poem of mine, The Donkey.  You can read it here.  It's especially good when read around Easter, so maybe I'll try to remind you then. 

At any rate, I'm thinking about something else that Chesterton wrote.  I read it on a blog several months ago; the always-educational, often-profound blog of my friend RWP.  You can find it here

This is not a poem of Chesterton's, but a thought.  A concept that really got me thinking and trying to get into God's head a little more. 

Which, of course, is impossible.  His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9), and yet we keep jumping, hoping we can touch them...

This thought of Chesterton's is sort of about tradition; about doing the same thing over and over.  He said: 

"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."
G.K. Chesterton

Isn't that a wonderful thought?  That the things we find beautiful ~ or necessary ~ in life are not just there because He programmed the sun to rise and the plants to give off oxygen, but because He chooses to bless us over and over and over?

Perhaps every breath I take is because He commands my heart to beat.  Perhaps every day, my husband loves me because the Lord chooses to continue to bind our hearts together.  The  woodpecker and the phoebe who visit my backyard, the jasmine that blooms in my front yard.  Perhaps they are all there because every day He says to the earth, "Do it again."

The thought makes me want to change my expressions of gratitude to Him.  It makes want to say not just, "Thank You, Lord." but "Thank You.  And thank You again."

~ "Be glad and rejoice forever in what I create" ~
Isaiah 65:18

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