Thoughts from Wendell Berry

An excerpt from Wendell Berry’s essay “Economy and Pleasure”

“That God created ‘all things’ [Rev. 4:11] is in itself an uncomfortable thought, for in our workaday world we can hardly avoid preferring some things above others, and this makes it hard to imagine not doing so. That God created all things for His pleasure, and that they continue to exist because they please Him is formidable doctrine indeed, as far as possible both from the anthropocentric utilitarianism that some environmentalists critics claim to find in the Bible and from the grouchy spirituality of many Christians. It would be foolish, probably, to suggest that God’s pleasure in all things can be fully understood or appreciated by mere humans. This passage suggests, however, that our truest and profoundest religious experience may be the simple, unmasking pleasure in the existence of other creatures that is possible to humans. It suggests that God’s pleasure in all things must be respected by us in our use of things, and even in our displeasure in some things. It suggests too that we have an obligation to preserve God’s pleasure in all things, and sure this means not only that we must not misuse or abuse anything, but also that there must be some things and some places that by common agreement we do not use at all, but leave wild.”

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