Wednesday, November 17, 2010

grateful for: g.k. chesterton

 {from here}

I was very involved in college. A social club, an honors society, the campus newspaper: I get exhausted just thinking about the number of activities I committed myself to during that period in my life. (You'd think I would have learned my lesson.)

One activity I always fail to mention, though, was the Chesterton Society.

Yes, there was such a thing.

No, there weren't many people who joined.

And yes, it might just be about the nerdiest thing I've ever done (and that's saying something).

If my memory is correct, we didn't meet often, but when we did we watched videos from PBS. We read The Man Who Was Thursday (to be fair and honest, I didn't finish). We discussed Chesterton quotes and works and theology.

But it wasn't until we discussed his views on women's roles that I thought to myself, "Aha! This guy's on to something."

I'm no Chesterton expert -- after all, I haven't even made it through Orthodoxy -- but I do know that his humor and his views on Christianity appeal to me. And apart from Lewis, there's no theologian I'd rather quote. Here's a sampling:


You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. 


Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.


Poets do not go mad, but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.


Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.


Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.


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.


Throughout the latter part of November, I'm dedicating my time to the things that fill my life with joy. You can find more posts on gratitude through the month of November here.


Kim Humes said...

"Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car." haha that's a great one, so true. I know I've heard it before but wasn't sure who said it. Thanks for the introduction!

Jill GG (good life for less) said...

I love the last one... I think our pastor has quoted that in a sermon before. So true, especially as a mom I see it! I think Orthodoxy was part of my college cirriculum too...

Karissa Jade Ferguson said...

I think I very much like Chesterton. Those are wonderful quotes!

Lauren said...

These are amazing quotes - thank you for posting them!! It makes me want to put a G.K. Chesterton book on my to-read list!