I am starting a new section called Morning Musings. This will be a little different than what I normally write about. I try to start every day with a Bible reading, and with the reading of some inspirational book, and now I am planning on writing about whatever catches my imagination from these readings. Right now I am in Acts, and I am reading a book called "Lunch with C. S. Lewis".
Beauty is a wonderful argument for the existence of God. Beauty can also cause us to forget God, to place our hope and love in the wrong places. Beauty, creativity, the arts, they all stem from somewhere, from some place. I am amazed at the creative genius that produces works of music or art. Microscopic life, birds and butterflies, all these and more define and reflect beauty. The earth is full of the wonder and beauty of creation.
When I read a great novel I want to meet the writer. When I see an inspiring painting, or listen to music, I wonder what the mind is or was like that could produce such beauty. It is the same with nature. I stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon and marvel at the genius of nature. I hike in the Tetons and am in awe. Watching a bird fly, or a horse run, watching waves crash on the shore and dolphins swim, all of these things cause a great love and admiration to fill my soul. Who is the writer, the creator, of these great things? Nature is, and yet, nature is not. Wind, rain, geologic forces create and shape our planet, but can simple forces always produce such wonder and beauty. I believe there is more to the story.
People are creative. We create when we tell bedtime stories to children, when we design our living rooms and choose paint colors, when we plant flowers and bushes. We are creative when we write music, or when we play our instruments or sing at the top of our voices. Where do we get this creativity? Why do we desire to create? What force of nature makes us want to write poetry, or paint? Was it an environmental design, passed down for some strange survival reason we can’t understand? I believe it has to be more. What is the reason for beauty? What is the reason for symmetry, or for the slight departure of symmetry that catches our eye and makes a thing even more interesting?
Could beauty be a part of the design, a reflection of the designer? Perhaps this world is just an image, a reflection of something bigger, and greater than we can understand. The fleeting beauty, found side by side with ugly and evil, this glimpse of wonder, I believe it is here for a reason. I think it can’t be removed, much like a struggling flower that grows in the cracks of broken cement; it can’t be pushed away or stopped. There is a reason for this, and I believe it is due to the Creator. The beauty is simply a tiny reflection of where we, and this world, came from.
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and the 9th is the greatest piece of music ever, in my small and limited world of music. I listen, and am transported to another place, another way of feeling. The music changes me. But the music did not create itself. The music was conceived in the mind of a musical genius, a deaf man that could still feel and remember the music in his soul. Where did Beethoven get his spark, his ability to imagine notes in such a way that listeners would be so changed?
God created man, He created these people with their own creative skills. Beethoven, for example, is only a sliver of the Great Creative Beauty of God. Nature produces wonderful places, and the wind, rain, sun and storms are all parts of this beauty. But, God created nature, He created the world and all that is in it. Nature is only a sliver of the Great Creative Beauty of God. When I am in awe of nature, art, and beauty, I am really in awe of the tiny sliver of the great creative beauty of God that we have been permitted to see.
We can worship the items created, or we can worship the Creator. In the book of Acts a silversmith became angry when Paul taught people that Artemis wasn’t a god, that statues were not worthy of worship. Demetrius says, “They say gods made from hands are no gods at all.” I read that and laughed, thinking that of course things made by hands are not gods. If we create our own gods, then those gods are not worthy of us bowing down to worship. Yet this we do, when we place the created things far above the one that created. We worship the tiny, the particle, the sliver, when we could be worshipping the great, the entire, the complete.