7.09.2006

French Women Don't Get Fat: on the pleasure of writing and worship

The book is called FRENCH WOMEN DON'T GET FAT: THE SECRET OF EATING FOR PLEASURE, by Mireille Guiliano. No, I'm not starting my first blogging post with a book review. Actually, it's more of a life review. Reading about the necessity of leek soup and whole milk and chocolate changed my writing and my living for good, and I think it's necessary to inflict the philosophy on you as well. Why, you may ask? A famous writer, loner, thinker, and forest dweller explains my enthusiasm best. Henry David Thoreau said in WALDEN, "I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life...to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

After I read Mireille Guiliano's philosophies for eating, I was struck with the vital purpose of pleasure--the desires we all have to live deep and suck life for all it's worth. I have to admit--the concept initially conflicted with my faith, knowing that the idea of pleasure has long been considered hedonism by Christians. Our fear of pleasure goes back to the virtue of Christian suffering. I cannot deny the cross and the promises of character through trials and struggles, however I do think it's easy to go to the opposite extreme and live without the joy that we have in the resurrected Christ.

Hedonism by definition is motivated by selfishness (motivation, by the way, is an untapped cause of many divisions in society today, but that's another topic.) But the Bible actually speaks about good pleasure, the kind that results from our worship of him. God designed humans for joy, fun, contentment, ecstasy (in a non-drug sort of way) all to worship him. Sex, for example. Humans, with the exception of pigs, are the only beings that enjoy intercourse. The others go at it because of animal instincts. Worship? Of course. Then there's the world--creation--nature. What God would create such a beautiful world if not for our enjoyment? What God would create humans with emotions--with the capacity to feel amused and humored occasionally? And like my mom would say, what God would create penguins if he didn't want us to laugh? And yes, all of it is for his worship.

So what does this have to do with words? WIth living deep? It wasn't until I took my first linguistics class that I saw the power in words--the sort of power that even Superman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can't match. The book of James talks about the power of the tongue and words. Proverbs 12:18 says that "reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." The power of words and speech and tongue are all over the Bible, because words do not stand alone. They represent meaning and motivation and whether we admit it or not, truth. And their existence is strung by the God who IS. The God who is, who was, and who is to come--the I AM--he spoke the first words, and life happened. Breath happened. Love happened. And it is for his good pleasure that we subsist.

We all have plenty of chances to make an impression on people we meet. We can bring hurt or healing, life or death. I choose to write for his pleasure, and those around me. I hope I live deeply for the same reason I write: to communicate truth and meaning, wrapped in the pleasure of worship.

1 comment:

a fellow basement dweller of yesteryear said...

McManus calls it "civilized" Christianity... the hedonism, the pleasure seeking blah Christianity that you speak of in The Barbarian Way.
Check it out. Easy and fast read.