Delight, Discernment, and Decision-making, Part Three

After spending the last two weeks discussing delight as a north star in our decision-making process, in this episode Dan reflects on our common resistance to and mistrust of delight. What keeps us from pursuing the kind of delight that captures our heart and draws us more deeply into our deepest desires?

Unlike immediate pleasure, living into delight requires that we risk deeply, opening our hearts to the vulnerability of desire and choosing to delay gratification in other areas of our life—which is where the issues of indulgence and entitlement block our ability to live for the purpose of delight.

Dan: “Delight is not a matter of doing what you want, doing what feels good. It actually is being bound to the categories of awe and gratitude—which really is the language of worship. To be caught up in delight is to be caught up in worship.”

Saying no to create a greater yes feels like a risk for many of us.

Reflecting on his own experience, Dan shares about the idea of writing fiction, which has been brewing for several years and might open Dan to new realms of delight and desire. But it would also open him to a whole lot of risks and unknowns, and each year he finds himself delaying or saying no. In contrast, saying yes to delight often leaves us on the outside of the cultural mainstream, because it requires that we not settle for manufactured satisfaction. Delight, desire, awe, gratitude—these are categories that complicate what we buy, the ways we work, and how we view the world.

Dan: “To live in the middle of the north star of delight will more often than not make it harder for you to make purchases, for you to buy clothes—not so much indecision and procrastination, but far more, does it spark joy? And if not, why would you want to simply clutter your life, your desk, your world with more of the debris of a highly materialistic world?”

In addition to saying “no” to temporary pleasure, our deeper “yes” will bring us to countless next decisions. Are we willing to continue saying yes, to choose again and again that which draws us deeper into the delight and wisdom of God?

Dan: “If we have the courage to declutter, what we’ll find is it clarifies what really matters to us, what it is worth our very life and energy and time to give our lives to. And in that clarity is the clarity that what we want most of all is to bring joy to our Father. May that be the delight of our lives.”