Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How much capacity for pleasure


"Once I walked beside a river bank in another flat part of the world -- northern Illinois in the US. It was autumn. The leaves were mostly still on the trees. But they were changing colour. Not many were green any more. Their pigmentation was transforming into gold and orange and vermilion and ruby and lemon and primrose. The sun was out. Its rays shone through the trees, sometimes through the bright leaves so they shone like fairy lights. The effect was dazzling. It filled my soul with a sense of overpowering beauty.

Then I realized that God could see it too. And I remembered that God would be enjoying it too: 'May the Lord rejoice in his works' (Psalm 104:31). Not less than me but more than me because he could enjoy it perfectly. I started making some calculations. I tried to count the number of leaves on one branch, then the number of branches, then the number of trees in the wood. It was a few billion I think.

I thought how much sheer pleasure I got from looking at one tree and one lot of leaves from one angle. But God could see every leaf from every possible angle and see all the leaves from all the angles at the same time. I felt like my computer when the CPU is 100% loaded.

How much joy God must get from looking at these billions of leaves from all possible angles all at the same time, if I felt this good looking at a few of them from one angle! It made me realize just how great he is and how much capacity for pleasure he has."

Julian Hardyman, Glory Days, pages 145-146.