Right from the very beginning, it is written, God created the world to be enjoyed.
“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” (Genesis 2: 8 – 10.)
Then – as we all know so well – came The Fall.
Yet even in this sinful, fallen world today, it’s abundantly clear that creation was born to be relished.
Nature, for one, ranks among the greatest gifts God has given us.
“The heavens declare the glory of God/And the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 10: 1)
William Wordsworth, meanwhile, encapsulates nature wonderfully in his poem, ‘It Is A Beauteous Evening’ :
“It is a beauteous evening, calm and free/The holy time is quiet as a Nun/Breathless with adoration; the broad sun/Is sinking down in its tranquility/The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the Sea/Listen! The mighty being is awake.”
For some of us there’s little as celestial as the sight of a sunrise. Most mornings I’m awake before dawn – partly the legacy of an early bedtime – and in that hushed and sacred hour before the sun broaches the horizon, the world is fresh and new, pregnant with promise. It’s at times like these that God seems very near indeed.
And while some may prefer the beach, for me creation is at its most beautiful in the Drakensberg, which surely rates as one of the most majestic, awe-inspiring parts of not just South Africa but the world.
Does anything quite compare to the Berg on a summer’s day, as you splash in a crystal-clear rock pool, surrounded by moss-green hills and mountains as old as time?
For yet others the enjoyment of this world manifests in the miracle of falling in love. Consider but the Song of Solomon, a wedding song honouring marriage and the purity of love. It’s an unashamedly sensual book this, and one of the more lyrical in The Bible.
“Your neck is like an ivory tower/Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon/By the gate of Bath Rabbim/Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon/Which looks toward Damascus.” (Song Of Solomon 7: 4)
Then there’s the joy of having children. Parents maintain that this is the greatest blessing of all. I believe them – even though I won’t have children of my own, preferring instead to follow Paul’s advice on marriage. Sometimes I think that knowing I will never marry and procreate, God instead sent dogs to look after and love me.
Friends too are yet another manifestation of how God created the world and all in it to be enjoyed. Consider but the glowing warmth of enjoying fellowship after a church service or in a home group.
For yet others enjoyment come from sport – playing it or watching it. And often watching it with great animation from the sidelines!
Then there are many of us who realise how surrounded we are by the less fortunate. Most of us reading this have a roof over our head, food in our fridges, and money – if only a little at times – in our wallet or bank account.
That puts us in the top percentile globally. So in reaching out to others with charity and love and The Word, we let them know that The Creator has made this world for them to not just be endured, but enjoyed too.
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