I can never make love to my wife without thinking what a crazy, preposterous, utterly unlikely thing is this business of sex. Who ever dreamed it up?
The religion of Christianity is full of extraordinary beliefs: that an invisible God created the entire universe; that this God became a man who lived and died on earth; that this dead man was resurrected to live forever; that we too, through belief in Him, gain eternal life, and can look forward to a heaven with no suffering, only joy and love; and so on.
The reason it is so vital for Christians to focus on the ordinary is that the Christian life cannot be understood in extraordinary terms. Who was looking for the Messiah to be born as a baby in a manger? Or who could have expected that He would die the common death of a criminal? If we’re looking for the extraordinary, we’ll miss the hand of God.
We have this expression ‘living life to the full’. But how can we live life to the full when life is, apparently, so full of mundane things and unremarkable events?
Most of life is ordinary, and God gave us ordinary life as a means of knowing the truth.
I once attended a church conference where a Tent of Prophecy was set up in the parking lot. At some point in the conference we were invited to enter the tent and receive a prophetic word.
Last time I published a selection of quotes about joy and happiness. This week I offer some of my favorite verses on the same theme. To begin with, two poems by William Blake:
In 2003 I published a book about joy entitled Champagne for the Soul. While working on the book, I began collecting quotes about happiness, a practice I continue to this day. I wish some of the recent quotes I’ve found could have made it into the original book. But as it’s too late for that, I present a few of my favorites here:
Alex Colville’s art is full of black animals: dogs, cats, crows, horses. Consider his most famous painting, “Horse and Train.”
The Canadian painter Alex Colville (1920-2013) was that most curious of artistic hybrids, both a realist and a modernist. In fact art critic Jeffrey Myers, in an article entitled “Dangerously Real,” called Colville “one of the greatest modern realist painters.”