Do It Again

“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.”

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

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I wrote a little on the outskirts of the topic of creation in my last post, so I thought that I might touch on it in a more positive light here.

Given that lining my own writing next to Chesterton’s is kind of like drawing your attention to a dumpster behind the Sistine Chapel, I will keep it brief.

I have very rarely found something that I enjoy as much as this passage from G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I have read the book a few times, and every time that I get to this section, a wide smile spreads itself across my face, and I just immerse myself in the pure joy that he is putting on display.

In many ways that is the beauty of what he has written. Like the children, and the God, that he is describing, I can exult in the joy of reading this passage over and over. I can say to my eyes, “Do it again”.

He describes here a kind of joy that I would like to think that we can all identify with, even if we have “sinned and grown old” as he has charged us. A part of us that does not need perpetual novelty, and that can just dwell in the objective goodness of things.

I think back to those first few passages of the book of Genesis, and hold onto this picture of God that Chesterton has given us, and I briefly let His great power and majesty mingle with the picture of a child who has started to master the use of a crayon.

The God who looked down on His creation and declared it “good” or even “very good”, is like the child who has just finished a masterpiece, drops the instruments of their craft, bounces up from the floor, and rushes into the next room to share their creation.

“Here, I made this for you.”

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4 thoughts on “Do It Again

    • There is so much in the creation narrative that I think is lost in the debates that we let ourselves get caught up in, and even though what Chesterton brings to the table is purely speculative, I think that it has far more value in how we relate to God and his creation than some dumb debate about evolution. You see this joy and satisfaction of what he is looking down on that should be enough to turn the most careless polluter into an eco-crusader (not that I am), and even moreso as he looks down on his creation of man.

      If we want to value what God values, we can find a good starting place there.

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