Pure Pleasure

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17, NIV).

I’m a birder. I expect you to have one of three responses to that revelation.




On a recent bike tour of the neighboring hills, I pedaled past a large, flat grain field. A red-winged blackbird floated over the green plant tops, his namesake chevrons flashing as he hovered above the field. I love the brilliance of that flash.

A small black bird sat perched on an electric wire near the road. When he flew away, I glimpsed his cream-colored crown and back.


I see those about once a decade.

A few moments later, I passed a thick patch of woods. A wood thrush’s song, a personal favorite, surprised and delighted me.

A birder finds pleasure in birds.

Chances are you’re not a birder. Oh, you notice birds. You might even have a hummingbird feeder hanging outside your kitchen window or scatter bird seed on the front lawn. But recognize dozens of individual songs or remember hundreds of different sightings? Probably not.

My guess is, though, that something does catch your attention. Something brings pleasure, delights and excites you—cooking, reading, cycling, running, painting, hiking, leaf collecting, jitterbugging, sky diving.

Something thrills your soul.

Something puts a smile on your face.

And a song in your heart.

And without corruption, unless some person or event has twisted that something, it brings you the joy and pleasure the ONE intended for you to have. It’s a gift, a perfect delight, a pure pleasure He prepared just for you.

Not one delight, not one excitement, not one pleasure, not one thrill—corrupt or otherwise—has any other source than Him. “Every good and perfect gift is from above…”

I recognize our world is bent—like a twisted piece of junk so crooked you have no idea what its original state was. And, at times, I bend with the world. That’s the reality of rebellion, that desire to fight the influence of the ONE.

But I observe the world around me, and every now and then a bobolink flies into view. My heart sings. I’ve experienced a leak, one of those good and perfect gifts from above.

If He intended such pure pleasure in a moment within a corrupt and passing world, imagine what the ONE has stored up for us at HOME.

Those moments of pure pleasure, if we allow them to fulfill His intentions, serve as lines on a map or bread crumbs on a path—directions that invite us into His presence now and eventually lead us forever HOME.

Question: What excites you and prompts you into the ONE’s presence?

About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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