In the movie, Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell states, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.” I love this quote because so often I become focused on all that is “required” of me by God, and I forget that God created me to feel joy and to bring pleasure to God.
Many of you can probably relate to Eric. For example, I know that many musicians and singers feel God’s pleasure when they play music or sing praises to God. However, for many of us, it may be more difficult to identify an activity that we participate in that allows us to feel God’s pleasure.
The main reason that I cannot identify activities that cause me to feel God’s pleasure is because I never slow down enough to simply take pleasure in the moment. I tend to rush to work, rush while at work, rush to do things at home, and even when I am supposed to be “relaxing” with friends or enjoying church activities, I am often thinking of things that need to be done instead of simply savoring the moment. In fact, I rush around so much that people have even told me that they can see my energy in the way that I walk – I walk fast and with a purpose.
While being organized and working hard can be good, there is a problem with work when it interferes with spending quiet time enjoying God’s creation. There are many reasons that we do not take the time to enjoy God’s creation and to “feel God’s pleasure.” For one, we live in a society that glorifies filling every moment with “productive time.” Many attorneys that I know brag about working 90 hour weeks and not having a vacation in 5 years. Parents schedule every moment of their kids’ lives with sports, dance, music, school, and other activities. When we do try to take a moment to simply breathe, we often feel guilty because others will jealously say, “I wish I had the time to relax.” As adults, we also complain that the older we get, the faster time flies. We state that when we were kids time seemed to crawl, but as adults it flies by in a flash. However, time is not racing past us - we are racing through time.
If you want to find ways to feel God’s pleasure, the solution is simple, but difficult to apply day to day. All that is required is to slow down for a moment and be fully in the moment (without worrying about tomorrow, without thinking about all you have to do). Take time to drink your coffee slowly – engage all of your senses as you smell the coffee, taste the coffee, and feel the warmth in your hands. As I have shared in the past, when I was in the hospital on bed rest for 12 weeks with Jacob, I had to learn to savor the small moments. When I showered (which was the only time I had alone in my day, away from hospital staff, etc.), I took time to smell the soap, to feel the warm water on my back. During these brief moments, I felt God’s pleasure as I enjoyed the wonderful world that God created.
Psalms 104: 24, & 33-34 says:
How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.
As you slow down, take a moment to meditate on the many works of the Lord – then you will feel God’s pleasure.