Enjoying a hummingbird and finding pleasure in God

“Pleasures are shafts of glory as it strikes our sensibility…. But aren’t there bad, unlawful pleasures? Certainly there are. But in calling them ‘bad pleasures’ I take it we are using a kind of shorthand. We mean ‘pleasures snatched by unlawful acts.’ It is the stealing of the apples that is bad, not the sweetness. The sweetness is still a beam from the glory…. I have tried since … to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. I don’t mean simply by giving thanks for it. One must of course give thanks, but I meant something different … Gratitude exclaims, very properly, ‘How good of God to give me this.’ Adoration says, ‘What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations [glitterings or sparklings] are like this!’”

John Piper quotes C. S. Lewis in When I Don’t Desire God on the worship of what God has given us. As I have been reflecting on Psalm 19 (The heavens declare the glory of God), I find this quote very helpful in discerning how to use His creation to help me find my joy in Him. For instance, yesterday at work a dozen baby turkeys and their parents waddled up from the creek behind our office to our windows. They were pecking at the weeds insistently and talking to each other as they investigated the side of the building. Then they waddled back to the creek. What an amazing sight. Then when I arrived home and opened the garage door, a hummingbird was flying around in our garage. I watched him for a minute or two until he finally figured out how to get out of the garage. An incredible little creature.

It was, as Lewis said, good of God to show me glimpses of his amazing creation, and I am thankful to him for that. But this should continue to adoration of God. If God can create this amazing little family of procreating turkeys and this little bird whose wings move at light speed (actually 50-200 beats per second!), these small glitterings or sparkles must proclaim an infinitely indescribable God!


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