There are a lot of Christians, myself included, who have a difficult time relaxing.
After all, there is so much to be done! I should be praying more, reading my Bible more, reaching out more, memorizing scripture more, and on and on. In addition, I read lot of books that call me to a higher level of spirituality. I’m called to love God, not the things of this world. To give away my treasures so that I can have the treasure of the kingdom of God. To pursue God harder and deeper than any other thing in this world.
And I completely agree with all these things. I must treasure God above everything else, and anything less than that is idolatry. But at times I think this perspective can lead us to over spiritualize things and neglect the fact that God made the world, declared it good, and gave it to us to enjoy.
Without a doubt, we treasure God primarily through his word. But I don’t think that we treasure God exclusively through his word. We can also treasure God through the wonderful gifts that he has given to us. In Genesis, God gave Adam and Eve and entire garden to enjoy, and they enjoyed God not just through prayer and worship, but through eating the fruit God gave them. God could have made food boring and bland, to be used only as fuel for our bodies. But instead he made steak, ice cream, coffee, bacon, and wine. We can treasure God as we delight in these foods with thanks to God.
God could have made us to be purely spiritual beings who know God only through prayer and worship. Instead he gave us bodies that thrive on laughter, sleep, friendship, and sunshine. We can please God and treasure him as we enjoy these things with thanksgiving.
God could have made us tireless, so that we never needed to rest and could always be doing more for God. But instead he created us to work and rest, and to find pleasure in both. To enjoy watching a football game or movie for the glory of God as our body recuperates.
Sometimes I think we can have this weird, dualistic mentality, where spiritual things are good and physical things are second rate at best. In reality, all of life is an opportunity to enjoy God and find out satisfaction in him, not just our devotional times.
In Ecclesiastes 2:24-25, Solomon writes:
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
We shouldn’t be feeling guilty for enjoying the wonderful things that God has created. Do we need to give to the poor? Absolutely. Do we need to pursue God through prayer, Bible reading, and worship? Yes. But that shouldn’t keep us from treasuring God through the good things that he has created.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some sausage with my name on it.
+photo by TheBusyBrain
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