My 2 year-old-grandson, Malachi, has created his first original song—lyrics and tune.
I’m a mean o’ dinosaur, hear me roar!
I get a-hungry, hear me roar!
As you might suspect, these lines are repeated many, many times. In fact, he never seems to tire of it and the song has stuck in my mind for days.
As an adult, we usually tire of this sort of repetition. The same old thing, over and over? Our marketing gurus would not approve. How can we be satisfied with such repetition? How can capitalism survive if we are actually satisfied? In fact, Malachi is not just satisfied, he is positively delighted—smiling and singing and insisting that we clap at the “end” of the song. As we grow older, most of this joy in the ordinary, the humdrum, the so-called monotonous slowly ebbs away. True, this innocence fades and is replaced by the development of other gifts (see last week’s post). But most of us still long for a delight in the “ordinary” kiss, the “ordinary” meal, the “ordinary” day. Maybe we have forgotten the joy of the routine. Maybe we reject the seeming monotony of life, and always look for the next adventure.
G. K. Chesterton, that inimitable Brit, wrote in Orthodoxy,
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
Indeed I have sinned and grown old. For many years, I looked at all the new adventures that I could take—the new places I could go, the new people I could meet, the latest reinventions of my imagined life. Only now, I look at those endeavors as “strivings after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14, among others)—foolish efforts and struggles and discontents.
But our gracious God, who delights in the endless repetition of day and night, has finally shown me a hint of his truth. That our days and our loves are to bring us satisfaction in him. Over and over, repeated ad infinitum, we now delight and will delight in his glory. Will I tire of this? I think not, for “our Father is younger than we.”