pleasure

Augustine, Reading, Theology, Worship

Augustine 


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I was astonished that although I now loved you…I did not persist in enjoyment of my God. Your beauty drew me to you, but soon I was dragged away from you by my own weight and in dismay I plunged again into the things of this world…as though I had sensed the fragrance of the fare but was not yet able to eat it.

How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose…! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honour, though not in the eyes of men who see all honour in themselves…O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.

Augustine, Confessions 

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33 Meters


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“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

Eric Liddle

I think we all know the feeling when you’re doing something and not only knowing that you’re not doing it very well but knowing that that’s because you’re kind of not supposed to be doing it very well and that it’s something that you’d probably not be very good at even if you did it every day for the rest of your life. I am shocking at painting and decorating, or patiently reading a map – I’d rather get lost than work it out.

I’m most naturally comfortable when I’m playing football, with the ball at my feet, head up and about to spray a 20 yard cross-field ball to a winger, or bringing it down neatly on my chest and laying it off to the left back to ‘start again’ or slipping a delicious through ball for the striker and then glorying in the assist. (I always got more assists than goals). I love football and feel accomplished playing football and carry a strong confidence that I know what I’m doing in the sport, even watching professionally on TV. It’s kind of just in me…apart of who I am and it’s been a big part of my life until injuries recently took their toll.

I was in the pool today and got to my sprints section and this Liddle quote (above) came to mind as I started sprinting through the water. As I carved through the waves just this sense of ‘rightness’ came over me. I was moving through the water very quickly over a decent distance (33m) and it felt really good. I knew that I was moving fast, technique smooth, fitness great, and it felt like I was being pulled through. As I was swimming, I felt His pleasure. It wasn’t His pleasure because ‘Nick’s keeping fit even though his ankle is bust…’ – it was His pleasure because  I was doing something well and excelling in it.

There are things that you are created to do very, very well. There are things you are created to do better than most other people. There are things you are made to do for purpose much higher than your own agendas but as simply as ‘because you can’.

Please may I simply encourage you to find, look for and explore maybe brand new things that you have never thought about in the hope of  feeling His pleasure when you’re doing them? It could literally be anything. I know a lad at Church who is flipping awesome with technical stuff. He sees things I don’t, he appreciates things that I miss and he feels pleasure when he’s doing all that. You can just tell. He’s called Sam and he’s a ledge.

What are you best at? What do you enjoy? What do you feel accomplished at? Answer this then go look for doing that more and more and more….and even things related to that…you were made uniquely to thrive in unique ways!

My plan is to become accomplished at some new things and then hone and polish that until I feel His pleasure some more. Why? Because I’m a hedonist? No! Because, somehow, feeling His pleasure over me GLORIFIES Him in unspeakably precious ways.

Go get ’em!