Q: What is the chief end of man?

A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

This past Sunday morning, I was listening to my “Not Just Sunday” station on Pandora, and reading through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Yes, I may be a little bit of a nerd, but it’s good stuff. Really!

Anyway, I kept coming back to the very first question in the Catechism.  It grabbed my attention and made me ask, “Do I glorify God in the things I say and do?”  I try to, as, I suspect, do you.

But do I enjoy Him?

I thought over this word, “enjoy”.  What does it mean?  I enjoy ice cream.  I enjoy driving on a warm Summer evening with the windows down and the music loud.  I enjoy looking into an ink black sky on a crisp Fall night, tracing the pictures God painted in the stars.  I enjoy time spent with my parents and old friends whenever I get to go home. I enjoy roller coasters and Tilt-A-Whirls (especially with my dad!).

But do I enjoy God?

This is, in all honesty, a foreign concept to me.  Most of my life, I feared God, and not in the biblical way.  I was afraid of Him.  And how can you enjoy something that terrifies you?

I read through the proof texts of this clause “to enjoy Him forever”.  “I keep my eyes always on the Lord…therefore my heart is glad” (Psalm 16:8-9).  “The Lord Himself is my strength and my song” (Isaiah 12:2). “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Yes, the principle is there. The idea of enjoying God is 100% biblical.

I thought again about things I enjoy, and I focused on how I feel when I get to experience them: I smile. I laugh. I feel a sense of excitement in anticipation of them.  I am satisfied and content in the midst of them.

Yes, this is exactly how I want to feel about my time with God.  I want to smile and laugh with Him.  I want to feel a sense of excitement when I get to spend quality time with Him.  And I want to be satisfied and content, having been with Him.

To glorify God, I must simply think before I speak and act.  “Is what I’m about to do or say going to bring Him glory?”  But enjoyment is much more abstract.  It is not something that can be so easily and simply done.  It is not something that can be enforced.  It is a gift, and one that God wants so desperately to give us.

And so I pray, Oh God, turn my heart toward You so that I find my satisfaction, my contentment, my joy and my happiness in You today.