I’ve been reading through G.K. Chesterton’s masterful work, Orthodoxy, among other books, and it is amazing as it is dense. The book itself isn’t very long, but reading and comprehending him is a rather difficult task at times. He writes with a metaphorical tone and wit that makes it deep reading. Usually, however, by the end of a chapter you get the gist of what he’s saying. And it is good.
As I have posted earlier, my wife and I have a one year old. Even typing that is odd. We have been given a little being full of potential and laughter. She illumines our life from the moment she wakes til she snuggles herself into Mel’s shoulder on her way to bed. Obviously, there are times when she gets upset or cranky, which are good reminders of the need for our being there for her. Sometimes she wants to do the same thing over and over again, laughing away, which embarrassingly demonstrates my lack for the sometimes “monotony” of doing things over and over.
Why is that? Why don’t we take joy and pleasure in doing things over and over? Why do we rush onto the next “big thing”? We see “monotony” everywhere around us. Every spring leads to summer. Every summer leads to autumn. Every morning the sun rises. Every evening the moon appears. Things happen all around us that seem completely natural, yet they happen everyday. So embedded in our lives are they, that they become invisible. The sun rises and we move on. The summer brings its warmth and we live our lives. Our child smiles and laughs and yet we can’t sustain the joy that its “Do it again”-ness brings. Why is that?
Chesterton says the following:
“Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. 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.”
Perhaps we need to see the beauty of being able to “Do it again” if we are to be imitators of God.