Take time to delight

By Joyce Holdread
Special to The PREVIEW
How often do we take time to simply delight? Living in troubled times, we sometimes get caught up in everything wrong with the world and with our lives. Yet the first chapter of Genesis repeats seven times that God looked on what He had made and declared it good. He was delighted with His creation.
Furthermore, in Proverbs 8:30-31, Wisdom speaks with her own personal voice: “I was the craftsman at his [God’s] side; I was filled with delight day after day/ rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in [human] kind.”
Some Bible scholars believe this personification of wisdom represents the Son of God, who was with God at the time of creation, as we read in John 1:1-3. Therefore, Jesus delights in his Father’s creation, and especially in us, the pinnacle of that creation. Even with all our pride and corruption, God still finds pleasure in his human creation.
God delights in us when we follow our call — whatever that may be and however hesitantly we follow. He cheers us on as we yield to the process of becoming who we were created to be. Jewish rabbis tell the story of Zhusa, who upon arrival at the Pearly Gates was quick to apologize for not achieving the holy works of Abraham, Moses, Joseph or David. Yahweh’s response was, “Never mind Abraham, Moses, and all the rest; did you become Zhusa, fulfilling who you were created to be?”
This delight is meant to flow both ways: God delights in us and we find pleasure in Him. One way we can delight in Him is to truly notice and give thanks for the Creator’s simple wonders which attend our lives every day—a child’s smile cracks a hard glare, rainbows supplant storms, snows gild the ground with dazzle, understanding erupts across a student’s face, the smell of humus in a fresh garden spirals up your nose, cocoons release black-gold wings, a wispy seed transforms into a carrot.
Lastly, God and we experience mutual delight when we learn to “play” together. A 13th century Christian mystic wrote of God’s voice to her: “I, God, am your playmate! I will lead the child in you in wonderful ways for I have chosen you.”
This image jolts us at first. God as our “playmate?” Isn’t everything concerning God and us pretty serious stuff? We need to remember Jesus’ teaching to his disciples, “… unless you become as little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Children usually do not take themselves over-seriously, but are free to be fully alive each moment. If we can embrace this childlike attitude, we will approach our family, friends and even strangers with greater spontaneity and less judgment. Let’s be attentive to our Father’s winks and run out to play — in laughter, simplicity and exuberance. This sounds like the kingdom of heaven to me.

This story was posted on March 1, 2018.