Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Simple Joys of Childhood

So help me if you can
I've got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You'd be surprised
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh

I was thinking about this song today.  I'm not much on Kenny Loggins, but this is a great song.  It has a great tune and it has thought provoking, albeit melancholy, lyrics -- a kind of wistfulness of a young adult longing for the simple joys of childhood.

What's unfortunate about the song, however, is that its message -- that adults must leave the simple joys of childhood behind -- is true if one adopts a secular worldview.

However, if one centers their life on God, the message of 'House at Pooh Corner' is wrong; in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

If you center your life on God, life is full of joy and simplicity.  There is a terrific little book entitled 'Keep It Simple' by Emmanuel de Gibergues that explains living your life with this joyful simplicity:
"Simplicity, or purity of intention, consists in keeping before yourself, in all your thoughts, words, and acts, one and the same end, one and the same object -- namely, the pleasing of God, or, more accurately, the doing of His will. ...
If man sees only God, seeks only God, and attaches himself only to God; if he voluntarily directs his thoughts, his words, his acts, and his whole life toward God; if, in some sort, he passes amid creatures without pausing, if he fails to find in them his repose as in an end, but desires to rest only in God -- then he is in the way of truth and order; he is righteous and holy, because he is perfectly simple.  The catechism expresses the same idea in saying, "Man is created to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him, and thus to reach eternal life". ... 
Thenceforth, simplicity becomes the soul of the spiritual life, ... The simple soul is ever pleasing to God, because it ever looks to Him, and ever seeks Him always, having no ambition other than to do His will in order to procure His glory.  
To be simple is to see, love, and desire God in all creatures and in all things; it is to unify one's life with God."

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