Volume 37, No. 10
The Discipline of Delight -
About a year ago, I had the privilege of meeting the New York Times bestselling author, Shauna Niequist. She was a retreat leader at a conference I attended, and she spoke to us about the “discipline of delight.”
Chasing delight is an important spiritual practice, she taught us, because it helps us to keep in mind that the harsh realities in life are not the only realities in life. That while life may be brutal, which it inevitably is, it can also, simultaneously, be beautiful.
Ever since then, I’ve worked to be intentional about finding delight. If not daily, at least weekly. When I was in New York last month, we had an evening free to spend as we wished, and I chose to “chase delight.” I had dinner with my good friend Jonathan Merritt at a fabulous restaurant in Manhattan called Ci Siamo. I ate the best onion torte accompanied by the best glass of wine, and we split to-die-for pasta and a dessert that cannot even be described. After, we saw “& Juliet” on Broadway which included music from my childhood, songs of which I still know every word.
I could not take the smile off my face the entire evening. It was pure delight, and it returned me to myself and to God. Chasing delight is not a form of escapism, it’s actually a practice in reality. I was reminded how wonderful things can be, and I was returned to my senses in the most beautiful of ways.
I don’t know how often you practice the discipline of delight, but I encourage you to take some time to do so soon. Remind yourself that the hard realities of life aren’t the only ones, and return yourself to life’s beauty, so you can remember when the going gets tough, what’s brutal is not all there is.
Grace and peace,