Beauty

So, we’re in Portland and I just experienced some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve experienced thus far in my 25 years of existence.
A friend once said to me:
“Anyone can look for God in anything, but it takes a true contemplative to FIND God in everything.”

I think about that and try to exercise that every time I witness something beautiful and every time I do not.

It’s difficult. When you see “beautiful” things, it’s easy to see God if you’re not completely tuned out to Him. When you don’t see beautiful things it’s easy to become apathetic toward God and dismiss that it is “from Him.”
Tim, In his ways, brought up an interesting point without knowing it. He asked “do you think Oregon is a red/conservative state? Because they’re surrounded by so much beauty, do you think they see God a lot?”

Interesting, Tim.

Would being surrounded by perfection at all times cause immediate affection and interest in God in a fallen world?
I believe that Oregon is actually primarily a liberal/democratic state.
When things are going well in my life I tend to lose dependency and focus on God. Sometimes I’m surrounded by beauty and I’m thinking more about my next meal than about God.

In these things, I don’t believe there’s a definitive black or white as to how one reacts toward God when shown beauty, but the idea is the same: Taking your thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ. Praying without ceasing. FIxing your eyes upon Jesus…
All these things go against the flesh. It’s not automatic. Sometimes it is, but if you discipline yourself and find joy, TRULY find your joy in Christ you will find God in the commonplace, the casual….even the dark.

The dark…such a mystery. It’s hard to explain it, especially if you’ve experienced it. There’s many metaphors we use to explain it. “You can’t paint a beautiful picture without dark colors.” “The shadow proves the sunshine” “You can’t have the sweet without knowing the sour.”
It’s difficult to swallow when you have hurt before. It’s difficult to find God in that. It’s more difficult if you’re asleep and you have become comfortable in your life and your faith. But this is the greater challenge isn’t it? What does TRUST mean if there’s nothing going against our grain? What does HOPE mean when there’s not pending circumstance? Believe and know the greater truth.

I’ll close with a story from the same friend that originated the first quote.

A student of a former professor of hers had died in a car accident. The professor said that when the police came to tell him that he had died, they said he immediately feel to his knees in tears and said: “thank you Father, for giving me my son to enjoy for 21 years.”

Find God in everything and you will find true love.