at the heart of making and doing

The church’s active life is based on delight at what God has done. Delight is not a matter of contemplation and reflection only, but of active celebration; yet the activity is founded on something there, the handiwork of God, and is not simply self-generated. When we care for our neighbour’s welfare, it is because we are delighted by our neighbour: by the sheer facticity of this other human that God has made; by the fact that God has given, and vindicated, a determination of our neighbour to health, rationality and relationship. When we make artefacts and machines to exploit the forces of nature, it is because we delight in nature, both in its raw givenness and in its possibilities for co-operation, and we are glad that God has restored it to fulfil his purposes for it. At the heart of making and doing there lies discernment of what the world is and is meant for. Activity is responsive; otherwise it becomes tyrannous and destructive.

(Oliver O’Donovan, The Desire of the Nations; p 183)

This resonates with me. In fact, I think something like this has been lurking behind what I’ve been struggling to express in all this talk about time wasting.

(For a different angle on that particular form of time wasting we all know and love — procrastination — you might like to read this article from the New Yorker; h/t Ben)

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