For the past few years my friend David Wayne (aka, Jollyblogger ) has been a winsome model of the pastor-blogger. I’ve learned a lot from him and assumed I’d be reading his work for decades. But then last Christmas he discoveredat the age of forty-fivethat he has stage four colon cancer. Since then his posts have become less frequent, though more poignant. His most recent entry is a prime example of how he’s learning to appreciate every day (and teaching me to do the same):
I once heard it said, and this may come from Chesterton, that all of the problems in the world are caused by man’s inability to sit still in a room. In other words, we are restless, always trying to make things happenit is as if we treat it as our moral obligation to be perpetually dissatisfied. Of course we spiritually spruce up our language and call it “striving for excellence,” or “pursuing a more passionate spiritual walk,” or “being relevant,” but I’ve come to believe all of that is a smokescreen for the fact that we have acquiesced to the spirit of the age, ergo , the newer and more flashy is always better.
The greatest blessing of the Noahic Covenant is God’s promise to not destroy the world with a flood, but the second and only slightly less well known is God’s promise of a regularly ordered worldGenesis 8:22
As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.
In other words, as long as life endures we will live in a world governed by regularity and sameness.
He includes this excellent quote from G.K. Chesterton:
A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. 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 . . . 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.
“Grown ups are not strong enough to exult in monotony,” is a stinging rebuke. But acknowledging that truth can be a starting point for appreciating our world of regularity and sameness. So today that is my prayer: “Do it again, Lord, do it again.”