Things I've Learned

The Danger of Delight

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Delight has chosen me, demanding to be taken serious this year. Expectation for this one little word builds inside my chest because I want to finally get it.

D e l i g h t.

To understand this choosing is to know the context of a greater configuration of words. Words that were collected and massaged and filtered until finally released into an elegant strand of desires.

Several summers ago during a Stephen Covey leadership training at work, we were led through the process of crafting a personal mission/purpose statement. Something about the timing of this activity clicked with me. I took it serious. Enough to fiddle around with it for weeks after the class ended.

I sat with scripture and my favorite big ideas and mined out the jewels that shone brightest. (On a side note, an upside to aging is the ability to confidently identify what resonates repeatedly on your insides. Not to the point of swagger but at least a wink and nod of recognition.) The whole process felt part obsession, part magic, unlike any other creative experience.

What I realize now is that God was leading me to clarify the language of my soul’s unique fingerprint in order to tell the story I was born to live.

My purpose is …
To wholeheartedly everyday,
Delight in the Lord,
Abide in Christ,
Walk in the Spirit.

One perfect verb responding to each part of the Trinity. Every day with as much chutzpah as I can muster.

So far, it feels like my true north. A focal point to keep me steering in the right direction, the reminder I need when I wander off course.

Abide was the word of 2014 and Walk in 2015 so it only made sense that Delight have her turn.

Delight was the first, after all, to raise her hand that summer of the purpose statement,  shouting “Pick me! Pick me!” Zephaniah 3:17 and Psalm 37:4 have been in my top 10 favorites forever. Delight has graciously been a thread through the whole of my life. She’s the twin sister of joy and wonder and is suspiciously beginning to feel like the kindred spirit of eucharisteo gratitude.

To be honest, I was bummed when she picked 2016 to come and visit because I think I already know all about delight.

God chuckles at my ignorant arrogance.

“Infinite delight is a dangerous duty.”
John Piper


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I don’t know anything. Already conflicting questions rise up to wrestle with this year.

Is it truly possible to experience delight in the midst of real and brutal suffering?

Is delight a mutually exclusive experience, available only when things are good and smooth and easy?

How does this whole delight/desires equation work?

How can I reconcile the call to delight with all that is broken and undelightful around me? 

Can my delight be trusted?

Is my delight worthy or useful? Or possibly selfish and prideful?

Hey Mr. Piper, why is delight dangerous?

Hmmm. I’m glad it’s only January. I obviously have some learnin’ to do.

Honestly, I want to go free diving in delight this year. To swim deep until my lungs explode or my eyeballs pop out. To go deep enough in God’s delight that to come up to the world’s surface would feel like death. Already the lessons pour in. What amazing things God will deliver straight on our doorstep if we’d only open the door to look.

For a year I’ve wanted to share the story of how God clarified my storyline in a sentence but it just felt hokey. When I hold something created totally from within my own head space, it’s probably wise to look at it slightly cockeyed for a season to give it some time to marinate. Although most of what I write leaves the slight flavor of hokey-ness in my mouth, this particular sentence has stuck with me and grown more beautiful in the grace it leads me toward.

I would be DELIGHTed if you want to steal my purpose/mission/faith/whatever statement. It’s served as beacon for me and I feel as though someone may need similar clarification this year. Words are his. Gifts to us all to share and delight in.

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them…For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

CS Lewis

3 thoughts on “The Danger of Delight

  1. I love this so so much. Your writing is going to a whole different level. Just beautiful. And the content of this post……love……mainly because I know you to your depth and have seen you display all this season after season. So proud of you. So thankful for you.

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