The pleasures of God

“…In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” — Psalm 16:11, partial

As I seek to become more sensitive to the lead of the Lord, I have begun receiving story ideas in ways I’ve never experienced before. Whole concepts drop into my mind and unfold in the theater of my imagination. Details for characters sometimes build, a piece at a time, over a period of weeks or months. Cinematic styles parade through some story ideas that are clearly meant to be movies. Art styles are sketched on sheets of gray matter, directing a web comic destiny for others.

For me, the minutes — or hours — of these inspirations are utter bliss. Could this be a hint of the sort of delight that the saints of old describe when communing with the Lord? I know we are to seek the Giver and not the gifts. This is referenced so often in church that it must be a common mistake. Could it be that this is one of those so-delightful and yet distracting gifts? Likely, I suspect.

And yet, I love the imagination and creativity of the Lord. His ideas are so complete, so beautiful. So layered with colorful complexity.

The challenge will be taking these ideas from seed form to ripe fruit. Then again, following the metaphor a bit, if my role is as farmer to the seed (I water it, I protect it, I feed it) — then only God can make it grow. And really, in the genetic makeup of every seed is the natural tendency to grow perfectly into its full form. So I’m just along for the ride, right?

A sobering thought intrudes: could the ecstasy of these moments of divine creativity be analogous to the pleasures of love? In such a way is the seed of life planted. So much delight to be had in the planting of the seed. But then it must be carried. As a woman who has walked through two pregnancies, I recall clearly the adventure of carrying a child as it grows. At first, it seems little more than a beautiful thought: real, but so intangible. You tell everyone about it, but have no proof except perhaps a piece of paper with the word: positive.

Within a few weeks, you can show off the ultrasound. But really, even if you proudly point out the little head or hands, you have to admit: They are little more than ink blots on a page. As the months go by, things finally start to grow. It becomes clear that you really are carrying something. At long last, you come to the point where you can feel movement inside you. Even when you would rather be sleeping, it kicks and prods and keeps you awake. It has a life of its own.

And then — the greatest challenge. The delivery. Mighty — and sometimes painful — contractions to push that precious life into the world where everyone else can see what you knew all along was there.

Lord, give me strength, wisdom and faithfulness to bring these ideas to the fullness of Your plan for them! And in the midst of the pleasures of Your presence, help me remember that it’s not about the idea, however delightful: it’s all about You, Jesus!

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