In a very success and results oriented society, the simple pleasure of enjoying something is sometimes not seen as a worthwhile expenditure of time, energy and money – perhaps something best left to children. But if you are up on your Westminster catechism, the following will sound familiar:
What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
Enjoyment was not something I captured as a mainstay of my faith in my conservative Mennonite upbringing, but I am trying to rectify that now. No, I have not become a hedonist, but this great big life that God has given to me as a gift is to be thoroughly enjoyed as an act of worship to the one who gave it to me, and I will not be found ungrateful if I can help it. Enjoyment involves the senses as well as the heart, mind, emotions, and imagination. I can enjoy a good meal, a drink with friends, a good book or movie, a sunset, a walk in the woods, good music, dancing, playing a game, working hard, sex, traveling, meeting different people, creating something new, resting, feeling God near me, and even my cats!
My trip to Africa was wonderful food for my senses and even now I feel occasional twinges of longing for some of the things I experienced there. Here are a few:
1. living with a family instead of spending much of my time alone
2. incessant teasing and playing of games at which I really sucked!
3. fresh, tasty, and varied fruits and vegetables
4. having healthy and well-balanced meals prepared for me!
5. warmth and sunshine pretty much every day
6. landscapes wild and tame
7. water time including swimming and boating and wakeboarding
8. plants and animals that we don’t see here
9. flying a lot and seeing the world from above
10. the ocean
11. shopping at the market where everything is so much fun to look at i.e. the packaging, the different products, figuring out the pricing, etc.
12. driving around and the view out the window never getting old
13. walking into different people’s homes and despite the fact that you have never met them, being warmly welcomed
14. lots of colour!