JOURNAL ENTRY 12/13 NOVEMBER 2005
The spirit is always ready and waiting to break through into our lives to dispel heaviness with lightness of heart, drabness with full fruition of joy, ennui with excited interest in some newness discovered in creation.
The theologian William Barclay tells us about the Greek word kainos:
“A thing which is kainos is new in the sense that it brings into the world a new kind of thing, a new quality of thing, which did not exist before.”
Suddenly we are surprised by joy through seeing a new quality that a thing, a person or an event assumes, that previously had seemed ordinary and banal.
It is a great sadness that frequent repetition blunts the early childhood excitement and ecstasy to be derived from this abundantly generous creation. Physiological/psychological fatigue is a well known phenomenon. We enter a room and are immediately aware of the fragrance of roses, but after a short time the senses are no longer responsive: the roses have lost their sensual magic for us.
God’s creation should be seen as truly miraculous. Objects retain a familiar ordinariness, for we need to attend, daily, to a thousand necessary tasks. To be hindered by miracles would render us paralyzed and ineffective in the pragmatic world of duties. Yet to forget that every object “stays waiting to give us sensual delight, if we are ready to receive the message”, (Alison Uttley), is to die spiritually. Unless we turn aside from our round of tasks and occasionally “drink of the eternal spring to refresh one’s heart”, we atrophy and become automata, wound up the moment we rise from sleep, to obey the dictates of time.
That there is something beyond time is a revelation. Artists of all disciplines are the custodians of truth; that it is possible in the hands of an artist to invoke this hidden quality of kainos is a grace-given miracle. Their service to us is simply this: they convey the good news that there is an abiding and eternal element to life.
This is the nature of true prayer and meditation: to join God in His miracles.