How The Meek Inherit The Earth (Now)

girl meek at peace enjoying outside

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 

—Matthew 5:5

We cannot see the world as God means it in the future, save as our souls are characterized by meekness. In meekness, we are its only inheritors. Meekness alone makes the spiritual retina pure to receive God’s things as they are, mingling with them neither imperfection nor impurity.  

—George MacDonald

What did Jesus mean when He promised that the meek would “inherit the land”?

It must include heaven: “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells,” (2 Peter 3:13). But as I research the last chapters of the meekness book, I’m starting to see that the inheritance starts here and now.

Here are three ways the meek may inherit this present earth.

1. The meek inherit the earth when they enjoy what they have. 

This side of heaven, we may have little. But it is still the abundant life that Jesus came to bring (John 10:10). Matthew Henry explained that the meek, “inherit the earth in that they are sure to have as much of it as is good for them: as much as will serve to bear them through this world to a better; and who would covet more? Enough is as good as a feast.” 

To the meek, everyday mercies appear as wonders. The sunset and the rain, the laughter of a child and the breeze on your face, good sleep and sweet tastes—to receive these with wonder is part of the inheriting promise of meekness. The meek have that “pure spiritual retina” that allows them “to receive God’s things as they are.” They are not blind to God’s gifts. Thus, as Matthew Henry wrote, they “have the most comfortable, undisturbed enjoyment of themselves, their friends, their God.” They trace the Father’s hand in the common grace that others take for granted. 

The meek man is thankful, happy, and content, and it is contentment that makes life enjoyable,” C.H. Spurgeon wrote that in a sermon on the meek. Then he told this story,

Here comes a man home to his dinner; he bows his head, and says, “Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful,” then opens his eyes, and grumbles, “What! Cold mutton again?” His spirit is very different from that of the good old Christian who, when he reached home, found two herrings and two or three potatoes on the table, and pronounced over them this blessing, ‘Heavenly Father, we thank you that you have ransacked both earth and sea to find us this food.’ His dinner was not as good as the other man’s, but he was content with it, and that made it better. 

The meek soul is pleased with whatever God is pleased to give. We inherit the earth as we learn to say, What pleases God must not displease me. The meek inherit the earth when they enjoy what they have.

The meek man is thankful, happy, and content, and it is contentment that makes life enjoyable.

C.H. Spurgeon

2. The meek inherit the earth when they enjoy even what they do not own. 

I enjoy gardens and pools and boats. But, apart from a few patches of shade-loving flowers, I don’t own any of them. Yet I relish summertime in my parents’ huge gardens, my friend’s ski boat, and another friend’s pool. I don’t own the garden, pool, or boat. But I enjoy them.

Izaak Walton lived in 16th-century England and wrote,  

I could sit there quietly, and look at the waters and see fishes leaping at flies of several shapes and colors. Looking down the meadows, I could see a boy gathering lilies and and a girl cropping columbines and cowslips […] As I thus sat, enjoying my own happy condition, I did remember what my Saviour said, that the meek inherit the earth.

This kind of enjoyment is not mooching. It is humble, thankful meekness. I borrow again from Spurgeon,

Even the possessions of other men make these people glad. They are like the man who met a mandarin in China covered with jewels, and, bowing to him, said, “Thank you for those jewels.” Doing this many times, at last the mandarin asked the cause of his gratitude. “Well,” said the poor but wise man, “I thank you that you have those jewels, for I have as good a sight of them as you have; but I have not the trouble of wearing them, putting them on in the morning, taking them off at night, and having a watchman keeping guard over them when I am asleep. I thank you for them; they are as much use to me as they are to you.

The meek inherit the earth when they freely enjoy what they don’t own. 

3. The meek inherit the earth when they not only enjoy whatever they have and what others have, but when they are glad that others have been given the gifts they have.

The meek take pleasure in God’s gifts to others. When we learn to rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15a) we have a constant source of joy. Admittedly, to celebrate a friend’s marriage or pregnancy, when you’d love to be married or pregnant is supernatural. To rejoice with a friend who landed your dream job or the book contract you’ve worked for is meek. It is a gift of God. To celebrate like this is, in one word, to DIGLI

I’ll explain DIGLI in a minute. But first, do you remember the parable of the vineyard owner? He hired workers at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m. Then he gave them all the same exact pay. It’s in Matthew 20 verses 10 through 15, and here’s how it ends: 

Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’

We read how the guys who worked twelve hours got the same amount as those who worked one hour, and naturally we’re stunned. Really, Jesus? That seems so unfair!

But wise parents and teachers tell their kids, Fair isn’t equal. It’s getting what you need. In His wisdom, God deemed that those vastly unequal hourly rates were exactly right, because, as author Lief Enger wrote, Fair is whatever God wants to do. 

Jesus Did Not Say, “The Envious Will Inherit The Earth”

The parable helps us understand what theologian and author Joe Rigney meant when he said, “God loves inequality…In terms of gifts, talents, abilities, opportunities, blessings, God is unequally lavish, at least according to our standards, and that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” 

Contrary to popular opinion, inequality of gifts does not need a fix. Author Dorothy Sayers wrote, “Envy is the great leveler.” It opposes meekness and it always levels down. Envy would have us lower the blessing bar to the lowest common denominator. If I can’t make a six-figure income, you shouldn’t either. If my kid can’t be a champ, yours shouldn’t be either. This is not meek. The envious will not inherit the earth. 

Which brings us back to the meek who inherit this present earth as they DIGLI. I coined the term in the midst of my own struggle to put on meekness and put off envy and discontent (Colossians 3:5-13). I needed a word to express that generous, free state of heart. Hence, DIGLI, an acronym for “delight in God’s lavish inequality.” Clearly this is not a natural dance or stance. Only the meek can DIGLI. 

Discontent spreads when we begrudge God’s generosity to others. But the meek trust that God is giving us exactly what we need to conform us to the image of Christ—even if it doesn’t make sense now. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). The meek believe this.

When her grandkids compare then complain, my mom will say, “Stay in your own lane.” The meek train themselves to run life’s race in their own lane. They learn to trust God to give whatever is good, even when it doesn’t seem fair. 

By grace, the meek train themselves to place all things in God’s hands and then find that God places all things back into their hands. And if we have eyes to see, that delightful exchange might just start now.

Christian meekness cools the heat of passion. Meekness of spirit not only fits us for communion with God—but for civil converse with men; and thus among all the graces it holds first place.  

—Thomas Watson

Hygge, on Earth as in Heaven?

Hygge, fuzzy blanket, mug of tea, Bible open
Rather listen? Here’s the KeepOn Podcast of this post. Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

Here we are traveling and our home is a distant home in another world...
Though we meet with traveler's fare sometimes yet it should not be grievous to us....
Consider what your condition is, you are pilgrims and strangers, so do not think to satisfy yourselves here.  
—Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

What’s Not To Love About Hygge?

I’ve been wrestling this week. I mean really grappling, straining to pin two ideas down right. HYGGE (or “hue-guh“) is on one side of the ring. It’s the Danish word for comfy coziness, and the feeling of contentment and well-being (Anna Altman, The New Yorker) that mightcome as you savor that Gevalia Gold Roast with your Bible and journal open on a sunny Saturday morning.

On the other side of the ring of my mind is SELF-DENIAL. As in, go out in the dark 2 degree cold this morning because you’ve offered to do the carpool after work and it’ll be too late to get out then. As in, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

 Hygge is my good friend’s word of the year and was the subject of my workplace inservice last week.

What’s not to love about it? Shouldn’t Christians be all about hygge?

Is Hygge Living “As An Enemy of the Cross”?

But this morning I read this.

For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 

Paul, Philippians 3:18-19 (NIV)

Their God is their stomach? Their mind is set on earthly things? What? Is that hygge I hear?

Theologian D.A. Carson explains, “There’s no principle of self-denial. There’s no no sold-out principle to die daily for the sake of the gospel.”

Which isn’t to say hygge isn’t a lovely thing. Only to say that idols form when, in Tim Keller’s words, we turn a good thing into an ultimate thing. (These 4 questions can help identify our idols.)

Hygge may not be idol, but comfort, health or security might.

Hygge, on Earth as in Heaven?

Carson continues,

Far from being drawn to suffer for Christ’s sake, they are endlessly drawn to creature comforts. Their mind is on earthly things. It’s not as if they focus on immoral, wicked things. Rather all their values and cherished goals and wishes are tied to what belongs to this earth.

Christianity prepares people for heaven. It is not about getting it all now. Someone said, Christians are “later people.” The meek will inherit the earth. Those who mourn will be comforted. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. These blessings will come later.

So does being a “later” person mean we have to hold out till heaven to enjoy hygge?

No. But whether or not we see ourselves as pilgrims on a journey and travelers passing through has everything to do with how we handle hygge. It determines whether we give thanks or grumble. Because pilgrims don’t grumble.

Here’s what I mean.

At Home Or On The Road?

When we are at home, we demand our just-right sleep number bed and just-right fluffy enough pillows. The thermostat is set so high and no higher and the food is just right. At home we can have it our way. 

But when we’re on the road as overnight guests, we make do. We put up with a too-flat pillow or a rock-hard bed, grateful for a place to stay. We’ll endure the stiff neck and sore back because we’ll be in our own bed next week. 

It’s the same with travel food. We don’t expect hygge on the road. We eat what’s put out for us—mushy French toast or weak French roast, runny eggs or rubbery yolks. It’s not how we fix them at home, but that’s okay. We’ll eat and drink what’s set before us because we are travelers, on our way. 

At home, we will feast.

Hygge In Another Man’s House?

This metaphor is not new. Four hundred years ago Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs wrote,

If a man travels, perhaps he does not meet with conveniences as he desires, yet this thought may moderate his spirit: I am a traveler and I must not be finding fault, I am in another man’s house, and it would be bad manners to find fault in someone else’s house, even though things are not as much to my liking as at home. So they are contented while away with the thought that it shall be different when they come home…Thus it should be with us in this world…here we are traveling, and our home is a distant home in another world.

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Our earth is another man’s house, and there is Christ-like self-denial.

But There Is Also Honey-Almond Peach Tea

Hygge tonight is sitting with my smart-wooled feet up, a mug of hot, honey-almond peach tea between my knees, a short stack of books and journals beside me and a Dorothy Sayers mystery in my hands.

All the while a wood fire crackles in the stove as Wisconsin winds blow wild. Oh, and there’s some happy Irish folk behind me.

As hyggeligt as all that is here at “home,” I don’t think we will ever feel completely comfy and cozy in this life, if only because we know this life won’t last. The world is not our home. We are “pilgrims” (Hebrews 11:13), travelers en route to a better country. I know this is true.

And Pleasant Inns Along The Way

But I also know—I mean, “experience” know—that God is kind and good. He gives us countless pleasures in this life.  C. S. Lewis captured this idea.

The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment He has scattered broadcast…It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world…: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

The Problem of Pain

Hygge is a pleasant inn. Enjoy it.

Hygge is a pleasant inn. Enjoy it. Embrace your creatureliness, Joe Rigney wrote. Go embrace the fact that creation is a magic glass, the kind that allows you to see God more clearly the thicker it becomes. Embrace your body and your five senses and the wonders that they can perceive and receive in the world… 

Anchor yourself in a supreme and expanding love for God and go enjoy his gifts.

Share them. Create that place. Refresh some souls.

Enjoy God’s gifts and give him thanks.

Italian Hygge And Prison Fare

But you’re still wondering, who won that wrestling match—HYGGE or SELF-DENIAL?

Well, back to the Bible for that.

Paul wrote to the Philippians, that he knew how to deny himself and make do at the inn. But he also knew about hygge. He didn’t call it hygge. The Danes hadn’t coined it yet. Paul said, instead, that he knew, “how to abound.”

I think Paul enjoyed some Italian hygge, some fine wine and bruschetta.

I know Paul handled prison fare. He was in prison when he wrote his letter to the Philippians, about learning to be content in any and every circumstance.

Jesus knew both too. Foxes have holes and birds have nests, he said, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). He came to serve (Matthew 20:28) and to pour himself out (Philippians 2:7-8).

Still, I think Jesus relished Judean hygge. Picture him reclined at Matthew’s table and resting in Mary and Martha’s hospitality. He enjoyed good gifts enough that his enemies accused him of being a glutton and drunkard (Matthew 11:19).

On earth, Jesus knew the delights of his senses, even as he obeyed unto death. He knew hygge and self-denial. I think it’s safe to say his followers will too.

Back in the ring, that’s why hygge and self-denial tie.

Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:20

Up The Sunbeam

There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. –C.S. Lewis 

He’s a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a facade. Or like foam on the seashore. Out at sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it; at His right hand are “pleasures for evermore.” He’s vulgar, Wormwood…He’s filled His world with pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least- sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working. Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side.  –Screwtape

This time it wasn’t tainted. Sunrise jogs and sunset walks sandwiched shuffleboard and sandcastles and shelling. Past trips were twinged, this seaside holiday was sheer delight without a splash of guilt.
And author Joe Rigney gets some credit for that.
Rigney’s The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts was my pick for this trip. And on breezy beach and beside jasmine blooms and in bed to the waves’ lull, I read.
I read that the world was made to be a theatre of the divine glory, that every enjoyment can be a “tiny theophany,” a touch from God’s finger, and that divine glory is so woven into created enjoyment that to separate them is to do violence to both” (p. 70).

Not A Zero-Sum Gain

I don’t know how it got there. But somehow it snuck in, that when I basked with a book in the sun and licked a coconut-crunch cone in the breeze I wasn’t quite firing on all spiritual cylinders.
My faulty view of the relationship between enjoyment of God and enjoyment of God’s gifts always stained vacations. It twisted them into slightly guilty pleasures. Because deep down, I think I thought it was a zero-sum gain. An either-or.
I thought that any delight I found in the gift took away from delight in the Giver. That inasmuch as I reveled in the kiss of misty-warm ocean breeze or the sight of my mid-western boys catching waves, or the icy-sweet bliss Chocolate Coconut Crunch- inasmuch as I enjoyed the things of earth-I slighted the God who gave them.
Some of you are shocked that anyone could possibly think this way. But some of us relate to God and his gifts in what Rigney calls a comparative way. 

Rather than the integrated way where we enjoy everything in God and God in everything and receive his gifts as avenues to enjoy him, and beams of glory we chase back to the source, some of us refuse to receive what God richly provides for fear we’ll commit idolatry.

We know it’s wrong to worship created things. We know Romans one. We know our hearts are idol factories and that its making a good thing into an ultimate thing is the way we form our idols.

Didn’t John say, Don’t love the world or anything in the world. For if you love the world the love of the Father is not in him?And didn’t Paul say, Set your mind on things that are above not on earthly things?They did. Looking only at creation can be bad. In fact, Rigney writes, If “looking at” creation means seeing creation without being amazed at the God who reveals himself through it, then such, “looking at” is worse than worthless; it’s idolatrous and damnable (p. 67). 

But what sets that love of the world and those earthly things apart from my enjoyment of blazing sunsets and coconut crunch and wave-skipping kids is in what I make ultimate. Ultimate, means best and final. Is the resplendent sunset the end, are frolicking kids my final joy or do I chase them up the glory beams?

Do I prefer them to God or see God and give thanks to God in them?

Ponies and Horses and Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Joe Rigney raves about his wife Jenny, and-well-her pumpkin crunch cake. He uses the cake to show that enjoying gift and enjoying giver are not either-or.

It’s possible I could love the dessert more than my wife. The cake and my bride could be rivals, competing for my affection. However, sweets versus spouse is not the only option. If my enjoyment of the cake is real and deep and satisfying, and if it issues forth in praise of my wife, appreciation for her efforts, and acts of love (like doing some dishes), then my love for the cake is no threat to my love for her. She wants me to enjoy the pumpkin goodness; that’s why she made it! In fact, my enjoyment of the dessert serves and increases my love for her. The enjoyment of the one doesn’t cancel out the other; instead, they overlap and mutually indwell one another, and my wife is honored as a fantastic cook and a wonderful spouse in my enjoyment of her culinary creation (p. 100).

When we know that the Giver is supreme- that knowing Him is life’s ultimate, we are not only free to enjoy his gifts, but even propelled to enjoyed them.
To borrow from Lewis again, 

[T]o shrink back [from enjoying God’s gifts] is as if we ran away from horses instead of learning to ride. There is in our present pilgrim condition plenty of room (more room than most of us like) for abstinence and renunciation and mortifying our natural desires. But behind all asceticism the thought should be, “Who will trust us with the true wealth if we cannot be trusted even with wealth that perishes?” These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may someday be free of horses altogether but that someday we may ride bareback, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts…Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else-since He has retained His own charger-should we accompany Him? (Miracles, p. 266)

Enjoyment of God and enjoyment of His gifts is definitely not zero-sum. Instead, how we enjoy God’s gifts-these earthly things- paves the way for eternal joy. Provided we look up the sunbeam to the sun, from the gift to the Giver, the sky is the limit on delight. But does the sky have limits?

Looking Through The Window

Yes. This is an unabashed defense of our holiday at sea. But more. It’s a challenge to us all to look up the sunbeam to the sun from whence it streams.

That kind of seeing is setting our mind on things above. Because things above are the uncorrupted best things from below. But to look at dolphins and sunsets or even friends and kids but to stop there and not look up the sunbeam is like looking at a window instead of looking through it.
Thus, writes Rigney, we must labor to see beyond our families and food and nature and instead recognize the revelation of God in him. We’ve got to look at the gift, the sunbeam, and trace it up to him
Anchored always in gratitude we look and thank and enjoy. And that’s how we set our mind on heaven and grow to know and love the King of heaven. Because how can we set our minds and sights on things above unless we know something of what we set them on?
God knew that. That’s why he gave us senses. Randy Alcorn, too, has helped me to see that the best gifts in this life are glimpses of heaven. In fact, writes Alcorn, Heaven isn’t an extrapolation of earthly thinking; earth is an extension of Heaven, made by the Creator King. 
Which means the best, uncorrupted things of earth, like sunsets and ice cream and families, are somehow a taste of heaven. Not in a saving way, like the Word is-but in a revealing God way.
Creation is God’s language.

Creation Talks And We Hear God

Psalm 19 is an exposé of how God talks. The heavens pour forth, the skies gush glory. God is present in his created world. In sunsets and waves and forests and leaves. And in wave-skipping kids and conch shells and birdsongs and clean sheets and coffee.

Didn’t Isaiah say, the whole earth is full of his gloryDon’t the Psalmists who praise God loudest seem to love his created world the most? And if God speaks his goodness and greatness in his created world, won’t we do well to spend time savoring this speech?
We know a person through his speech. And communication increases intimacy. So it follows that,

[T]he more those divine communications increase in the creature, the more it becomes one with God; for so much the more it is united to God in love, the heart is drawn nearer and nearer to God, and the union with him becomes more firm and close, and at the same time, the creature becomes more and more conformed to God. (Jonathan Edwards, Personal Narrative)

It’s what Rigney calls godwardness. That’s his term for doing 1 Corinthians 10:31-for doing all to the glory of God. And all that God created, bread and bridegroomshoney and sunall of it is show us himself.
Let that sink in. That nothing exists for itself. All things were created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16).
In a sermon on John 6, John Piper explains,

Every honorable pleasure we have in the created world is designed by God to give us a faint taste of heaven and make us hunger for Christ. Every partial satisfaction in this life points to the perfect satisfaction in Jesus who made the world.

The pleasures of warm bread should send our senses and our spirits to Christ as the bread of life. The pleasures of cold water when we’re hot and thirsty should send our senses and our spirits to Christ as the living water. The pleasures of light making all other natural beauties visible and should send our senses and our spirits to Christ as the true light of the world. 

God speaks in every sunrise and sea breeze and in every blossom and bird, in bread and wine and water. With eyes to see we learn his language- and see and see through-his creation.
Which means, writes Rigney, that we don’t need to fear the intensity of joy we feel in created things. There’s no guilty pleasure. Provided we are anchored in a supreme love for God, then, when our love for one of the gifts shoots through the roof like a rocket, it carries our love for God along with it, lifting it to new unforeseen heights

But he goes further. He adds, in a sense, we rob ourselves of potent worship if we detach from the gifts or rush through our enjoyment of creation. The times of what Rigney calls indirect godwardness- when we’re not explicitly praying or in the Word or singing praise- then become haunted by the Holy Spirit. In all things we start to see God.

Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have power to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth and know God’s love that surpasses knowledge.

One of the big ways God gives our hearts and minds a spiritual workout is communicating his goodness to us through created gifts (p. 221). And so our delighting, guilt-free, in God’s gifts is benefits us both. Or as Piper says, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

Which means, by extension, that the more we gratefully enjoy God gifts, the more we know Him and our love for Him grows. Every time a pleasures in a gift shoots through the roof, it takes God with it, swelling our capacity to know him

And knowing him and his love, to be glad and grateful and give.

Embrace “Creatureliness”

To be a creature is to need and receive. For what do you have that we did not receiveRigney again, The great privilege of man is to receive everything that God gives in all the ways that he gives it, and then to know it and enjoy it and delight in it and sing about it, and to know him in it and to enjoy him in it and to sing about him in it. 

He concludes his book that helped me so much,

[E]mbrace your creatureliness…Embrace the fact that creation is a magic glass, the kind that allows you to see God more clearly the thicker it becomes. Embrace your body and your five senses and the wonders that they can perceive and receive in the world… Anchor yourself in a supreme, full, and expanding love for God and then let your enjoyment of his gifts run wild. 

And live grateful. For really, how can we not? Since,

Gratitude is the posture of the soul that most readily increases receptivity. Gratitude demands humility, since only those who acknowledge their dependence, their need, and their delight in the goodness and kindness of another can be grateful. Give thanks always and for everything.  

Gazing at Sanibel sunsets and tasting creamy-sweetness and feeling ocean breezes, these-far from taking glory from God-actually help me know and love God more. These things of earth make me grateful-and I pray-make me a more lavish giver, like Him.
So why should we delight in kids and dolphins and doughnuts and ice cream and breezes and sky? Why, again, should we revel in sunsets and sea?

Because, Rigney reminds us,

Creation is communication from the triune God. God loved his Trinitarian fullness so much that he created a world to communicate that fullness ad extra, outside himself. And not just any world- a world full of fish tacos, tickle fights, afternoon naps, Cajun seafood, back rubs, wool house shoes, and church softball. The infinite, eternal God created something that is not God but nevertheless really and truly reflects and reveals God…

As a result, creation is glorious, created shafts of divine glory. As the light of the sun is refracted by water droplets into a rainbow, so creation refracts the glory of God, allowing the full spectrum of his beauty to be displayed for the knowledge and enjoyment of his people. Created glory mediates divine glory so that when we chase the pleasures up the beam to the source, we arrive at the joy of joys, the river of delights, the person of persons, the living God and Father of all, at Christ (p. 74).

And what on earth-or in heaven-could possibly be better?

The sweet air whispers of the country from whence it blew. It is a message. We know we are being touched by a finger of that right hand at which there are pleasures forevermore. There need be no question of thanks or praise as a separate event, something to be done afterwards. To experience the tiny theophany is itself to adore…

One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun. 

-Lewis, Letters to Malcolm

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. In them he has set a tent for the su, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Psalm 19:1, 2, 5