Friday, June 30, 2006

Beautiful God...

I got to fly for the first time in years, last week. I have to say that it was awe-inspiring. When the plane rose up above the clouds for the first time, I was awe-struck. It's a whole new landscape up there. I sat there, overwhelmed almost by the view, but knowing that it's just a small reflection of God.

Then I thought of how amazing it really is that I was even getting to see it. That God had made the human mind capable figuring out how to fly! I guess it's part of being made in His image. After all, he created animals that do it almost from birth... but then, they have no idea of how amazing flight is.

Throughout the past few weeks, I've found myself noticing again how many amazing things we take for granted all the time, and how many beautiful things surround us that we ignore, enjoy, and sometimes are even tempted by... without even realizing that they reflect God.

I am a passionate lover of beauty. There is just a certain satisfaction that I get out of seeing, hearing, and experiencing beautiful things. I don't think I'm all that unusual, either... I just think that most people never really stop to think about why they enjoy the beautiful things of life.

Take the human body, for example... we all know that there are beautiful women and good-looking men out there, and we enjoy it if it's our spouse or child, and feel guilty if we notice someone we think we shouldn't have, etc. Yet how often do go beyond that to the realization that God has got to be so much more beautiful. After all, He is the One that made us... in His image! God is perfect, as no human is... I don't think the human mind is capable of imagining how beautiful God is.

Consider the human voice... as I write this, I'm listening to a recording of "The Prayer" - sung by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church. (You can listen to the whole song on David Foster's website... just click the box in the lower left corner to select it.) They have two of the most beautiful voices in the world. And it's not just me that thinks so... thousands more around the world agree. Yet how many of those thousands stop to think of how amazing God is to have created instruments capable of such beauty? Especially when you think that both of them had show-stopping voices long before they got the training they have now. The credit has to go to God. Why He chose to put Josh's incredible voice inside such an ordinary, almost geeky-looking kid is beyond me, unless it's to teach us not to underestimate anything He has created.

Now "To Love You More" from Celine Dion is playing. I love that song... not for the words, but for the beauty of the violin that sings with Celine. This song is a duet between a beautiful instrument that God created and placed inside an ordinary human, and another beautiful instrument that He taught man to create and play. He is incredible!

I could go on and on about the things whose awe-inspiring beauty we enjoy without even thinking of God... the view from a mountaintop over valleys and more ridges beyond... the view from a valley, looking up to the moutaintops (I love mountains, can you tell?)... the woods in Pennsylvania filled with wild mountain laurel, blooming all over the mountainsides... a rose in perfect bloom... the way the wind blows through a field of tall grasses... the song of the plain little sparrow... the night sky lit up with lighting during a storm, or by millions of stars when it's clear... a sunrise...

And how many beautiful things do most of us get to enjoy only because of modern technology? You'd think that, as the decades go on, we would become more and more aware of how amazing God is, rather than the current trend in the opposite direction. A decade ago no one knew what Saturn looks like when viewed from the close distances that the Cassini spacecraft reached... no one knew what the earth looks like from the surface of Mars. A century ago, only those few who lived along Norway's fjords knew how beautiful they were. Very few people had any idea how beautiful the sea life is in the oceans. None of us knew what the view from Everest was like. Not to mention the airplane views that humbled me just last week. Even the technology itself gives credit to God... He created the brains capable of understanding what was necessary to create airplanes, photos, space crafts, etc.

Why do we love romantic movies and love songs so much? Because a pure, true love story is perhaps the most beautiful thing that exists. There is something about the idea of an unselfish, all-consuming love that draws us. Why? Because God loves us like that. He is love, personified. Yet how often, when we read or watch our favorite love story, or remember back to when our own first began... how often do we recognize that we are enjoying something that is a reflection of God? We would not be capable of loving if He was not love. We wouldn't even be able to enjoy a good love story if He was not the awesome, beautiful God that He is.

And you know what is even more amazing? That of all this, He counts us as His most precious creation...
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