In Search of Beauty

Human beings are beauty enthusiasts. We realize this, but seldom think of it. The world’s most famous museum, the Louvre, holds 35, 000 masterpieces. Millions of people visit here annually. They come to see beauty. We don’t need to think about liking things that are beautiful, we are wired to enjoy it. The substantial number of annual visitors to the Louvre is evidence we are willing to seek it.

Beauty is not found only in paintings. The musical compositions of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Handel and many others are witness to the beauty found in music. The human ear is synchronized with the heart to the beauty of harmony and melody. Beautiful music brings joy, peace and great emotion to the human spirit. The music does not need to be classical. It is estimated that 32 million people in the United States attend a music festival each year. It is the beauty they hear in music which draws them.

Humans become obsessed with beauty. Masterpiece paintings are stolen. Shiny new cars, sparkling diamonds, dazzling gold are objects we humans can become fanatically infatuated with.

What is the gateway through which we relate to beauty? We find it with our 5 senses. Throughout our lives we use our eyes, ears, nose, taste buds, and finger tips to know beauty.

We see beauty in a sunset. Hear it as the wind rustles the leaves of Aspen trees. Feel it as that same breeze caresses our skin and cools it. We delight in the scent of water freshened air. The citrus taste of a fresh orange boosts a healthy diet.

What is beauty? We know it when we see it. Understand it when we hear it. We are grateful when we feel it. We say “aah!” as we smell it and “yum” when we taste it.

Why does it grip the human heart so strongly? Human ability to appreciate beauty is a gift. While we use our 5 senses for other aspects of life, the 5 human senses work in harmony with beauty. Without our senses we could not enjoy or delight in the beauty found on earth.

Now, what is the origin of beauty? Serious reflection brings us to the conclusion that beauty did not develop with time. The qualities of what constitute beauty exist. They did not advance as time passed. Recorded human history for millennia reveals the presence of beauty. It also reveals the existence of the human sensory gifts to experience it.

Our 5 senses and beauty are God’s gifts to us. Beauty originates with God. Psalm 50:2 is clear: “From Zion, (Zion in this context means heaven.) perfect in beauty, God shines forth.” God is infinite beauty. He is the creator of beauty, and He made 5 human senses to experience it.

Examine the photos with this text. They provide examples of the beauty God placed in this world. No human has ever been credited with the invention of a human sensory ability. Yet, every human has a sense and appreciation for beauty. We were made to seek it and delight in it.

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Finally, the wisest man in world history, King Solomon of Israel, wrote these words about beauty and its origin, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 Enjoy this beautiful world, use your gifted senses to experience it. Have no fear when you cannot comprehend it all. The Creator of beauty and your senses loves you with a love beyond understanding. Remember the love of God when you next experience beauty on earth. Go, seek it and find its Creator.

Thanksgiving Every Month

Thanksgiving is still on our minds. The food, family, and fun linger as pleasant thoughts. What if we gave thanks every month, all year long? It is effortless, really.

Start with a pink cumulo-status sunrise, January 2017.
Give thanks to God, for He is good. He creates sunrise and sunset for each day.2-1-17

The hairy woodpecker is largely immune to winter, even below zero temperatures in February. Give thanks to God for He is good. He created insulating down for woodpeckers. He knows what we need too.

Early spring finds this coyote on prowl at a Prairie Chicken Lek. Give thanks to God for He is good. The coyote has been provided food to
survive another winter. The abundance of spring has come. We receive his abundance every day.4-1-17

April brings blue in the form of eggs. This bluebird was half done with her clutch of 6. Give thanks to God for He is good. He created the miraculous egg! He gives us daily miracles.4-22-17

Spring reveals the power of the first thunderstorm. Give thanks to God for he is good. His power is evident in every cloud, even more in cumulonimbus. His power is for you, me.6-2-17

The flowers of June delight our eyes and clothe the land in unspeakable beauty. Give thanks to God for he is good. His love is evident in the blooms he creates. This beauty soothes our souls.6-14-17

July reminds us of Gods perfect timing. All of nature is set to God’s precise clock. In late July, without fail Cicadas emerge from their earth-bound home to become adults whose calls reverberate in the summer trees. They announce the renewal of the next generation. Everyday, God renews his love for us. His timing for us is perfect.DSC_0080_457sig

August comes. It shows us how often and much we take the goodness of God for granted. The pollinators, bees, wasps, moths and birds are faithfully on duty making fruit and vegetables which bring us health. Give thanks to God for he is good. We never tell pollinators to do their work. They follow the instructions of God who loves us.DSC_0075_439sig

September and October arrive. The colors of changing seasons cause us to drop our jaws at the profusion of color. Yet, we seldom give thanks for the eyes we use everyday to witness the beauty of the earth. God is ok with that. Our eyes are part of his love gift to us. Give thanks to God for he is good. Fall colors bring us joy. Joy is a reason for thanksgiving.9-19-1710-1-17

A full moon in November is a celebration. November is a cloudy month. To witness the moon rise above the horizon on a crisp November evening is one more in the parade of gifts God gives in a year. So is a female Pileated woodpecker demolishing a suet block in December. She was watching, and cautious; but her taste for suet won. Give thanks to God for he is good. Winter beauty is reason for thanksgiving.11-23-16

12 photos, 12 months…12 snips of 365 days of life. 365 days of steadfast 24/7 goodness and blessing from God. Give thanks to God for he is good …here is the best part for last…His love endures forever. Giving thanks? There are endless reasons because…once more…God is good.12-22-16

Another Use for 5 Senses

Sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste; every human has multiple senses. Some have 5. My gratitude for just the ability to see and hear returns with every trip outside.

Our senses reveal the magnificence of earth. Our minds revel in the splendor and grandeur of earthy majesty. Millions of photographic images of earth grandness are irrefutable evidence.DSC_0184_1006sig

Yes, we are beauty fanatics. We find beauty using all 5 senses. Have you ever wondered why a sunrise or sunset takes your breath away? What about the powerful sound of the surf, the wilderness call of a loon, the rustle of leaves in a south breeze? The scent of pine, the ocean, and freshly turned earth delight our noses. The soft touch of downy feathers, a flower petal, a gentle breeze on our skin calms us and thrills us at the same time. What about the taste of a fresh crisp apple just picked from the tree? On this earth we are surrounded by magnificence.DSC_0032sig

Our senses connect us with earth majesty. They give a fullness, and richness to life. They are gifts. DSC_0007sig

Our 5 senses point us to God. Why do humans have 5 senses? Do you take them for granted? Another question, what is the origin of human sensory abilities? Actually, this is a profound question. Reflect on your answer. Know the answer is filled with an unfathomable peace centered reality: God.

Pastor, author and speaker, Dr. Paul Tripp calls earthly beauty “sign beauty.” Tripp tells us “sign beauty points us to eternal beauty. He writes this about God, “Only his beauty can give you hope, strength, and peace. Only his beauty can give you life… be sure to look beyond what you are thankful for and see the Creator.”

Make time to go outside again, soon. Use your senses, delight in the majesty of the earth you live on, use them to lead you to him. Then remind yourself, “There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. Deuteronomy 33:26 He is God today; his promises are real. His help always available. Just ask him. He is near.DSC_0025sig.jpg