Mary Oliver writes, “It must be a great disappointment to God, if we are not dazzled at least ten times a day.”
I want to live dazzled, don’t you?
Frazzled is our natural disposition as human beings. We know how to flutter about at the speed of a hummingbird, but do we know how to enjoy the company of God, letting His rich life seep into our bones like a sweet cup of tea?
Do we wait with “alert expectancy,” as Eugene Peterson puts it in Romans 5:5, for the all the abundant grace He wants to pour into our lives, or do we rush ahead unable to resist pursuing own strategies to find significance?
When I think about being dazzled ten times a day, I think it’s more than someone on the lookout for pretty flowers or a picturesque sunset. They don’t just mutter “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” in the moments of fleeting delight.
I imagine someone who greets each day with a “hello” in anticipation of encountering His presence. (Psalm 5:3) They take on their ordinary agenda with more than an ambitious smile, but a bewildering curiosity to find out how God is going to surprise them.
I picture someone who isn’t afraid to pray in a garden, growing a rich love for God between soil and sky. They understand God doesn’t only listen to the frantic prayers in the midnight hour, but the afternoon prayers said in the in-between, where the stuff of life pushes hard against their innocent expectation.
The ten-times-a-day-dazzled person also carries with her an unending hunch that God is better than she had even hoped He’d be. She is unashamed in her declaration that He gives generously without regard to our deeds and pursues her with passion. Like Ruth in the field gathering more than enough wheat to sustain her, the dazzled woman is constantly gathering proof that He really is so good. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 23, Ephesians 3:20-21)
To live dazzled is to be someone who stays an amateur and stops trying to grow out of their childlike faith.
Life can’t lose its sparkle when we let God protect us from becoming a professional disciple, who avoids mystery and appreciates answers more than the adventure with God. (8:15-17, Mark 10:14-16)
The person who can be dazzled is continually fine-tuning their sight. Annie Dillard writes, “But there is another kind of seeing that involves letting go…When I walk without my camera, my own shutter opens, and the moment’s light prints on my own silver gut.”
Can you imagine being this person who is dazzled at least ten times a day?
I wonder what would happen if you took up this aspect of your inheritance as God’s child- staring down disappointment with the light of His truth until it stops dimming your delight and became enraptured with Him, captivated by the glimmering hope of the Gospel of His goodness in everything?