The Beauty of Monotony

Parenting is interesting. One thing that continues to amaze me is how being a parent helps me gain insights to life. Sometimes, it forces me to see my sin or selfishness. Other times, it makes me view the world through the sweet or introspective perspective of my children.

For example, when playing with a toddler, you soon realize that they love repetition and regular routine. They thrive when there is a known thing ahead…when there is snack time, then play time, then nap time (well, not always that one!).

Suffice it to say that their little spirits are designed for that regularity.

Yet that doesn’t always excite me as a mom. I get tired of the day-in-and-day-out monotony. It isn’t exciting. It makes one day seem to drag into another. During the days when I had 4 little ones aged 6 and under, I longed for adventure. I dreamed of challenges. I would have even settled for a little spice in my food (my kids couldn’t handle spicy).

But I came across this awesome quote from G.K. Chesterton the other day.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

Have you ever pushed a child on a swing? If they had their way, they would have you pushing them indefinitely. When they are playing in the dirt, they don’t want to stop to come inside to get cleaned up. And then when they are in the tub, they don’t want to get out to dry off for dinner.

They are “in spirit fierce and free.” They “exult in monotony.” But as Chesterton suggests, God seems to revel in monotony, too. Each day since the beginning of time He has made the sun to rise again. He has made the moon to continue in its path.

Since creation, he has made an infinite number of daisies - each one like the other - but he makes them without tiring. And we marvel at a springtime bouquet of them, right? They are still breathtaking to behold!

I love how Chesterton says that perhaps God never tires of this regularity because he has the eternal appetite of infancy. We, as grownups, worry about tomorrow. We stress that we are not keeping up with the laundry or the dishes or whatever else brings stress. We are not living moment by moment.

Yet our children do.

They can help us to see things from our Father’s vantage point in that they have not “grown old” like we have. They have a jubilant, joyful perspective.

It is the same each day. Play. Laugh. Do it again.

Let’s try to remind ourselves that we are God’s children and we can gleefully embrace each day he gives us with laughter, enjoying the fun things of the moment. We can linger a bit more in those times, saying “Do it again, Lord!”

I know there are worries in this world. But let’s try to use the eyes of a child to view things around us. Let’s ask God for strength to exult in monotony. Indeed, monotony can be beautiful!