NATURE AND BEAUTY
Brett McCracken, author and elder, wrote, “I think a huge part of gaining wisdom is in attuning ourselves to nature and beauty.
The natural world does not lie. I love this recent L.A. Times headline: “We may live in a post-truth era, but nature does not.” So true! We can’t have our own preferred truth or “alternative facts” about whether or not it’s raining. It either is or it isn’t.
Nature is a reliable and nourishing source of wisdom. God speaks to us through nature, through general revelation (e.g. Psalm 19, Romans 1:20).
The heavens declare the glory of God. So get outside and listen! Being in nature also helps us to be humble; it reminds us that there we are one created being as part of a massive created world. It leads us to understand the rhythms of nature and the rhythms of our own bodies, the concepts of Sabbath and rest. It helps us to cultivate gratitude for all that God has given to us.
And this leads to the importance of beauty. Seeking out beauty, whether the natural beauty of God’s creation or the created beauty of human art and culture, also helps us to be reflective and grateful. It helps us to sit still and simply enjoy, to observe, to pay attention. And it often inspires us to create!
Beauty is by definition unnecessary; it is superfluous; and so it has a way of helping us understand grace and God’s love. There are some truths about God and existence that books and words simply can’t really capture, but beauty can.”
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Jesus