Sunday, August 13, 2006
J.I. Packer writes:
"I hold the heady doctrine that no pleasures are so frequent or intense as those of the grateful, devoted, single-minded, whole-hearted, self-denying Christian. I maintain that the delights of work and leisure, of friendship and family, of eating and mating, of arts and crafts, of playing and watching games, of finding out and making things, of helping other people, and all the other noble pleasures that life affords, are doubled for the Christian; for, as the cheerful old Puritans used to say (no, sir, that is not a misprint, nor a Freudian lapse; I mean Puritans—the real, historical Puritans, as distinct from the smug sourpusses of the last-century Anglo-American imagination), the Christian tastes God in all his or her pleasures and this increases them, whereas for other people pleasure brings with it a sense of hollowness which reduces it."—J.I. Packer, God Has SpokenI read this yesterday after enjoying a tennis lesson that my dear wife gave me as a Christmas present. Mr. Packer's words rang true. I smiled as I considered the "doubled" joy I experienced smacking a yellow ball with a racquet, because it was God who gave me arms to swing and God who ordained the laws of physics (which I don't understand) that dictate how that ball will travel through space after I smack it, and God who made the sky so blue and clear and the air so crisp that morning.
I don't mind if it sounds silly. I tasted God as I swung that racquet (and no, that's not a statement of the quality of my play, which is in no way divine). But I met Him in one of the many gracious gifts with which he showers this undeserving world.
I hope whatever joy or simple pleasure you experience today will draw your thoughts and heart back to God, the giver of every good gift and, in so doing, be doubled in its intensity.
I'm so thankful for J.I. Packer. I hope we can play a little tennis one day on the new earth. I'm almost certain there will be grass courts there.