Intending (and Attending) to Delight


delight: “a high degree of gratification or pleasure: joy.”


Do you delight? Would you say that the moments in your home are marked with “a high degree of gratification or pleasure”? Is it a joy-filled atmosphere? Maybe that’s an overwhelming question.

I find myself plugging along in family life sometimes without often enough taking stock of the overall atmosphere, how well we are doing at keeping the big picture in the foreground. But if you are like me, when we do stop to consider a question like this, we get in over our heads. We mentally sort through the plans we have in place. But it is so much simpler to ask: how was yesterday?

So let’s just take yesterday. Did your family experience delight yesterday? If so (or if not), was yesterday a “typical” day in the life of your family? I think asking these two questions can give us a lot of clarity on the atmosphere of our domestic churches and help us live with more intention. Yesterday can help us determine how intentionally we are living.

So if we find that our yesterdays haven’t been what they should be, then we have the gift of today. In fact, if we find that our mornings haven’t been what they should be, then we have the gift of the afternoons. We don’t yet have the gift of tomorrow or next week. We cannot live those days with intention until they are given us. Remember that we have only been given this day so far, and it is the present day alone that we are able to live with intention. The thing I like about only thinking about today is that its not so hard, not such an overwhelming task. I’m simply purposing to be faithful with the time I have in this moment and to make this small bit of time filled with delight.

How can we intentionally create an atmosphere of delight in our homes today? Perhaps the following verses from the Psalms give us some inspiration and the key to being people who delight:

“…but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.” (Ps. 1:2)

“He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” (Ps. 18:19)

“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver — let him rescue the one in whom he delights!” (Ps. 22:8)

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4)

“I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8)

“I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches.” (Ps. 119:14)

“I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Ps. 119:16)

“Your decrees are my delight, they are my counselors.” (Ps. 119:24)

“I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them.” (Ps. 119:47)

“Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.” (Ps. 119:77)

“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my misery.” (Ps. 119:92)

“Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but your commandments are my delight.” (Ps. 119:143)

“I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.” (Ps. 119:174)

It would seem that being filled with joy and a “high degree of gratification” is fundamentally connected to keeping and preserving God’s law; and God’s law is completely and totally wrapped up in his love for us, his creation. The reason that we can delight at all is that he has first delighted in us. He has given us a million different reminders of this in the hours of our day…the hours of our today…the hours we have been given to reciprocate delight in Him. But do we pay attention to those moments, to those reminders?

In speaking of delight in her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron says this:

“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”

So often in our daily moments we are too busy or distracted — we aren’t paying attention to the reminder’s of divine love that are staring us in the face. I think we will find more of a capacity for delight in our domestic churches when start to pay attention. The habit of attention is not automatic; it is one that we must cultivate. We must intend to do it in the first place, starting with today.

 

Copyright 2018 Jessica Ptomey

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