Taking a closer look at God's gifts...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Land of blue ice...

Water. Earth's most abundant resource. Pretty basic, wouldn't you say? Perhaps even mundane.
But add some cold temps, glacial waters, a few thousand years, some global warming (or seasonal thawing, depending on how you look at it) and ordinary water turns into an extraordinary jigsaw of geometric delight.

This photo was taken from a boat near Portage Glacier in Alaska. Granted, not everyone has a chance to get up close and personal with a glacier, but even when you do (and I've been fortunate to be able to visit several in the two years I've been in
Alaska), it's too easy to be dumbstruck by the enormity of the glacier itself. But if you can drag your eyes from the breathtaking sight of a huge mass of blue ice snaking its way between the mountains, dragging trees and boulders, earth and anything else in its path right along with it, then there are other beauties to be examined and enjoyed and overcome by.

Miracles wrapped in wonder and tied with delight--that's what awaits us when we carefully unwrap the gifts scattered throughout the earth by our Heavenly Father.

See you along the trail...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

God's fingerprint

God's fingerprint can be found on all beauty, both man-made and natural. Whether He uses mankind to create architectural wonders or to produce art, music and literature, or chooses the humble bumblebee to pollinate the flowers that make us smile and the fields of crops that feed the souls and stomachs of the world; whether He trusts the chattering squirrels with planting mighty forests one sapling at a time or employs the moon-driven ocean tides and relentless river currents to sculpt the continents and carve great canyons--it's all at His pleasure and in His good time.
It's up to us to seek out and appreciate the many glorious wonders He's placed along our paths. It's not always easy to see the beauty--sometimes it's tucked away in the not-so-pretty aspects of life here on earth. But it's there. And He knows it's there and He knows He put it there for our pleasure.

God wants us to know it's there, to seek it out, to acknowledge the beauty, to worship Him for His love and glory and splendor and power, to enjoy the gifts He's so graciously given us. There are bits of beauty everywhere we look. Let's not let these tiny miracles go unnoticed and unappreciated. Won't you take a closer look?

See you along the trail...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hidden treasure

I love to find beauty in unexpected places. This shot, taken in Denali National Park, is particularly special to me for that very reason. You had to look carefully for not only the rock (a quartz of some kind, I would guess), but the tiny flowers that adorn its borders were also difficult to see unless you were looking.

This makes me wonder what beauty lies beneath the dirt, under the paths we walk each day, hidden from our view simply because nature has taken its course and deposited layers of soil and rock and decayed plant life upon it.

It has been said that we see what we set out to see. While I'm not blind to the ugliness that abounds in this world, I do find myself purposely looking for unexpected beauty because that's what I want to see. I can't ignore the blight of sin and garbage and pain; to do so would be to turn a blind eye to those who are hurting or to the world we're destroying. But I can make it a point to unearth the hidden beauty in nature and in all of us, if for no other reason than to remember that God loves us enough to often plant this beauty in places we don't expect to find it. It's rather like finding a twenty-dollar bill in the pocket of a skirt you haven't worn in eight years. The skirt might be ugly, but there's still beauty to be found in its depths!

See you along the trail...

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's the little things...

It's the little things that make life worthwhile and when you get right down to it, everything--big, little, or in-between--begins with something small. It may end up being big, but at the innermost core of everything lies a tiny miracle of creation.

Not everything that God has created for us is aesthetically pleasing, of course. Take the mosquito or the maggot, the hyena, every last snake in the world (same for spiders), the homely catfish, or any other example of creepy, crawly, slimy, or otherwise unappetizing lifeform. But at the center, at the very beginning of every creature, plant, or substance is a work of art. And all art holds its own beauty.

But you know what they say--art exists in the eye of the beholder. Beholding the art, really seeing it, has to happen before you can appreciate it. Art can't exist if it isn't beheld. And you can't appreciate what God has given you if you don't know it exists.

It's my hope that this blog will help you do just that. Every inch of this planet is covered with a beauty of one kind or another. We may have covered it up or shoved it aside or defaced it in ways that only human beings can devise, but it's there, nonetheless. And it's just waiting to be discovered.

Let's take a closer look at the path God has prepared for us.

See you along the trail...