When Mere Life Is Interesting Enough

When Mere Life Is Interesting Enough

G. K. Chesterton:

When we are very young children we don't need fairy tales: we only need tales. Mere life is interesting enough.

A child of seven is excited by being told that Tommy opened a door and saw a dragon. But a child of three is exicted by being told that Tommy opened a door.

Boys like romantic tales; but babies like realistic tales — because they find them romantic. . . . This proves that even nursery tales only echo an almost pre-natal leap of interest and amazement.

These tales say that apples are golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.

Orthodoxy quoted in John Piper, When I Don't Desire God, (Crossway, 2004), 196, paragraphing added.

For more on Chesterton, see Pastor John's recent post, The Sovereign God of "Elfland" (Why Chesterton's Anti-Calvinism Doesn't Put Me Off).

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.