Images of Mardi Gras swirl in my head.
Debauchery. Excess. Lewdness. Abandon. Sensuality. Revelry. Beads. Licentiousness. Drunkenness. The pursuit of pleasure at all costs.
I’m not sure about you, but I have a super complicated relationship with pleasure.
At times, I overestimate its value and seek it with abandon at any cost to my own demise, still unsatisfied and longing for more, kind of like what will be happening today in New Orleans.
In other moments, I squelch it, deeming it unnecessary, and certainly not “Christian” and even harmful to my wellbeing. I swing from feasting to fasting, just trying to figure it out this complex partnership, never quite landing anywhere.
I need pleasure. You need it. It’s really good for me, especially when it’s in its designed space, as my kind and faithful servant and not my harsh and self-seeking master. It’s a straight-up gift from God to remind me of His goodness.
When I think about it, I’ve been given five senses to experience joy and delight for just this very reason, the immense freedom to enjoy the goodness of God. It’s no wonder the Psalmist says,
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
- I taste delectable flavors (potato chips and milk for me…I know…super strange), savoring each sip or bite.
- I hear sounds that excite and both calm my soul and levels unreached in other ways (my favorite is the garage door closing when my budding adult is home after a night being out).
- Through the sense of touch, I know comfort and bliss (warm sunshine on my face after a long winter), and also experience love and intimacy with the people I love (a long hug with my hubby).
- My sight allows me to capture the untarnished beauty of the world (butterflies fluttering in my garden brings me personal joy).
- My sense of smell gives me a completely unique experience of the life around me (lilacs in May and peonies in June for this New Jersey girl), especially and uniquely mine, a true gift in a world of billions of people.
I am reminded I am one-of-a-kind and God does some things just for me! How amazing is that?!?
Today, take a minute to think about what brings you pleasure. You may have just forgotten because of all the overwhelming “duties” on your plate. What is your favorite thing to taste, see, touch, hear and smell?
Hopefully carve out just a few moments on this Mardi Gras to experience even one, savoring it as you do, bringing your senses to life and reminding you that “Yes. God’s creation is good” and He’s gifted it to you to declare to your heart His unending goodness and unfailing love!
From My Heart to Yours