Settle Down!

Y G K. Chesterton3Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. This has always been the instinct of Christendom, and especially the instinct of Christian art. Remember how Fra Angelico represented all his angels, not only as birds, but almost as butterflies. Remember how the most earnest medieval art was full of light and fluttering draperies, of quick and capering feet….In the old Christian pictures the sky over every figure is like a blue or gold parachute. Every figure seems ready to fly up and float about in the heavens. The tattered cloak of the beggar will bear him up like the rayed plumes of the angels. But the kings in their heavy gold and the proud in their robes of purple will all of their nature sink downwards, for pride cannot rise to levity or levitation. Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. One “settles down” into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness. A man “falls” into a brown study; he reaches up at a blue sky.

~G.K. Chesterton, from Orthodoxy


When the play of little children becomes too joyful and loud, a helpful adult always orders them to settle down. They resist of course because they love the flight of wild exuberance, but sooner or later they drain themselves and comply.  In time their worldview becomes more grounded and so do they.  They grow up to be responsible adults and replace their play with work, work, work.

Maybe you’re tired of trying to be so self-sufficient. Maybe you are ready to live without fretting, without the anxieties that so often obscure your view of the high and holy place which is your true home.  Maybe now you are ready to hear Jesus say that He came for you to have life, and have it abundantly.

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Isaiah 57:15

For thus says the high and lofty one
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.