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."
I have posted that here before, probably multiple times. Every year or so though it circles back through my mind singing its song a little louder than before. I read it to my roommate last night as we talked about laughter and the embarrassing things we enjoy but would never share. I live in a beautiful city, full of creativity, artistry, thought, culture. A city that encourages development and growth and change for the sake of betterment. I get revved up when I have that conversation.
But I realized it's not a conversation I want to have all the time. Devotion to change and betterment is necessary and helpful, but can also lend itself to dissatisfaction and cynicism. Change doesn't have space for monotony, especially the monotony Chesterton writes of.
I think "monotony" and my mind free associates directly to boredom. It's a short line between the two. Dullness, weariness, lackluster, meh. But what if that's not the true nature of monotony? What if my cynicism and desires for growth have actually tainted the goodness of monotony, tamed it of its fierceness. Disfigured it into a cumbersome burden rather than Chesterton's version that seems to directly associate monotony with joy and belief.
When did I lose the innocence I maintained and decided to live a "once is enough" lifestyle. One that says God is only capable of achieving good things every once in a while. That He has to reboot and recalibrate before He's able to do it again. Or that He should just stop messing in my life already, I'm just fine. Where in my fight for independence did I stop seeing the His actions towards me as sufficient and decide that I needed Him PLUS what I do for myself? When did I ask Him to stop making the daisies because there are damn well plenty already?
I long and pray for the day when His joy is in me and my joy has been made full (John 15:11). When His joy is in me, THEN my joy is made full. Only then. Cause, effect. Only then will I see Him achieve miracles in my world and immediately say, "Do it again!" because I know He is capable and pleased to do so. I'm often afraid that I tire God out, when in fact I haven't engaged Him remotely close to His capacity.
Jesus talks often of childlike faith. Growing up I thought that was only about innocence maintenance. But I think it's the opposite. I think it's the actually the return I make from my adolescent independence. The redemption of those of us who posture and pretense and defend and self-sustain. The realization that maybe He's the only one capable to repeat good things and intense things and impossible things. Maybe it's not actually a fluke. I think childlike faith is the redemption of cynicism, not the absence of it.
It's fierce and it's free. When I return to the place where I can ask again and again, there's a fervor incomparable to any intensity I alone can achieve. Because I don't need to cover up, I don't need to hide my love and enjoyment in the name of saving face. I don't have to be afraid or embarrassed of being unimpressive or naive. I am free to love what's before me and to look to Him to do extravagant things on repeat.
This week, a weird and inconclusive relationship in my life met resolution way faster and way more beautifully than I ever dreamed could be true. And rather than hiding it, not believing it can be repeated, I want to revel in it and know that God can do it again and again and again. I think something about wanting it repeated and unchanged offers God the glory and me the rest. It reminds me that His glory and my rest is sufficient. He is enough for me. And He does not grow weary in doing good to me or you.
I resolutely believe that today. Abounding vitality is awaiting us at the end of our geriatric cynicism and disbelief. His delight in repetition and joy is contagious, having a Benjamin Button effect. But we must sit in the fullness of His immediate presence. We must consider the daisies. We must slow down to see it.