For months, I looked forward to this day. I told everyone who cared and many who didn’t that I was going to see whales. We boarded the boat and headed 30 miles out into the Atlantic ocean. I searched and searched, my eyes darting back and forth over the expanse of blue in front of me. All of a sudden, this giant beast emerges from the water with such great power – and I jumped! I squealed! I grabbed Kyle’s arm and squeezed it as tight as I could. I danced around never once taking my eyes from this impressive showing of one of the largest mammals in existence.
Delight. Absolute delight.
There are many things I delight in.
I delight in new things; new clothes, new pieces of furniture, new kitchen canisters.
I delight in a clean house. I delight in every piece of laundry in the house being clean at the exact same time.
I delight in a cup of hot Folgers in the morning.
I delight in a porch swing on a cool night.
I delight in great conversations that make my mind buzz with questions and challenges and wakefulness.
I delight in all things Kyle. I delight in his music. I delight in our conversations. I delight in his wisdom. I delight in his kisses. (I’ll stop there and keep this G-rated.)
I know I delight in these things because I think about them – all.the.time.
I think about our house an embarrassing amount of time. I think about how I could design my mantle, I think about how I could keep the house cleaner on a daily basis. I have been shopping for the perfect porch swing for about five months. I plan parties and invite people over in hopes that a conversation will strike a chord and energize my imagination.
I think about Kyle all the time. I think about how he’s feeling and what he’s thinking about. I get excited about the moment he texts me when he’s leaving the studio and headed home to me. I carve out time in my schedule to see him, hang with him, be with him.
And I tell him these things. I tell him how much I love him. I tell him how I think he is the most talented man I know. I tell him how thankful I am for his wisdom. I thank him for leading our family with the gospel. I tell him how beautiful he is and how much I love his giant beard.
C.S. Lewis said:
“We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.”
In Psalm One, David compares a person who delights in and meditates on the law of the Lord with a tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit. And then again, in the longest chapter in the Bible, David spends 176 verses expressing his absolute delight in the word of God.
The imagery of this is beautiful. As trees by the river are the most healthy, full of life and blooms and fruit, so I will be full of life as I delight in the law of the Lord. As I meditate on Scripture, I will become a person of love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.
Yet, when I sit down to read my Bible, I must admit it is not often that I delight in these moments. Understanding scripture is often hard-won. Fighting distraction is exhausting. Feeling dry and bored and uninspired makes me feel weary and guilty. I do not often delight in the instructions of God.
David and Lewis reminded me of something this morning, it is not merely the reading of the words, it is praising the One whom they are about. The bible is this incredible book that tells me who God is. I think I often read it like a self-help book. I open it and think – How will this help me suck less today?
I often separate his instructions from him. I turn the Bible into a list of things to do and not do. When in truth, the scriptures are a love letter of the consuming delight passed back and forth between lovers. I read his words through a lens of guilt and “shoulds” instead of a lens of love and grace. I read, forgetting that in God’s great delight he sent his Son, who perfectly fulfilled the law so that God would see the perfection of His Son instead of the imperfections of me.
I desire to delight in God. Not just obey him or do what is right, but I desire to delight in a God who cares so deeply for me that he would give me a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path so I will know exactly how to get to Him.