Tuesday, April 26, 2011

But WHO Made the Pretty Flowers?

I love finding things when I'm not looking for them. There's a type of excitement when things come along when you're least expecting them. Oftentimes, people will say "It will happen when you least expect it". Of course, that is usually said about the bigger things in life, but I've found recently that this can also be true for the little things too.

As I was looking through the free books on my iBooks app, I came across a little treasure of a book written nearly 200 years ago called, Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women. Sounds kind of random, but as I started reading, I realized the book was filled with biblical truth. A chapter on beauty really caught my eye and before reading the chapter I assumed it would be about the many struggles and insecurities women have in regards to their beauty, but my assumptions were very wrong. Here's what is written:
"We doubt not that God is a lover of Beauty. We speak reverently. He fashioned the worlds in Beauty, when there was no eye to behold them but his own. All along the wild old forest he has carved the forms of Beauty. Every cliff, and mountain, and tree is a statue of Beauty. Every leaf, and stem, and vine, and flower is a form of Beauty. Every hill, and dale, and landscape is a picture of Beauty. Every cloud, and mist-wreath, and vapor-vail is a shadowy reflection of Beauty. Every spring and rivulet, lakelet, river, and ocean, is a glassy mirror of Beauty. Every diamond, and rock, and pebbly beach is a mine of Beauty. Every sun, and planet, and star is a blazing face of Beauty. All along the aisles of earth, all over the arches of heaven, all through the expanses of the universe, are scattered in rich and infinite profusion the life-gems of Beauty. All natural motion is Beauty in action. The winds, the waves, the clouds, the trees, the birds, the animals, all move beautifully; and beautifully do the joyous light-words of the skies dance their eternal cotillion of glory. From the mote that plays its little frolic in the sunbeam, to the world that blazes along the sapphire spaces of the firmament, are visible the ever-varying features of the enrapturing spirit of Beauty. All this great realm of dazzling and bewildering beauty was made by God.
What shall we say then, is he not a lover of Beauty? Is it irreverence thus to speak? No; but rather reverence. What reverent soul does not love to look at God in his works? Go out in the still morning, when the golden gates of day are turning slowly back to let the morning king come in with a great crown of rosy light streaking half around the heavens, on his brow; or at noon, when the whole firmament and the joyous earth are bathed in a golden flood, soft, and warm, and life-inspiring; or at evening when even the zephyrs are folding up their wings with the little birds, and the trees, and the fields, and the smiling mountain tops are bidding a sweet good-night to their heavenly king as encurtained in diamond glory he sinks to rest; or at night, when the stars come out to keep their vigils over the sleeping earth; go out at such times, and what heart is not bewildered with the sense of Beauty that steals over it like a divine charm? and through that beauty is not carried up to God the beautiful and bountiful author of it all? God hath made every thing beautiful in its time. I envy not him who is undevout in the presence of so much Beauty. How easily can the devout spirit go through nature up to nature's God. Who loves nature should love God. Who admires Beauty should reverence its Author. Natural beauty inspires piety in a good heart. To commune with nature intelligently is to commune with God. Whoever loves a flower, a bird, a landscape view, a rainbow, a star, the blue sky, should love God. God is in them all. He is in the aisles of the forest, the waves of the deep, the solitudes of the mountain, and the fragrance of the green fields. Beauty is of divine origin, and we should admire, ay, and love it too. It should fill us with sweet thoughts of God, with worshipful emotions, with reverent aspirings. The love of Beauty we should cultivate within us as a gift of the good Father, and a shrine at which we may worship him acceptably. He has not given us this delicate sense of Beauty to be neglected. It is our duty to preserve it well and cultivate it diligently.
None of us love Beauty too much, if our love is enlightened and devout. He who has no love of Beauty in his soul is a great way from God, and very near the earth, the animal. The love of Beauty is refining and elevating in its tendency. Yet it is too often indulged without a thought of God or a reverent emotion. It is a love which may be united with earthly desires, or with heavenly aspirations. It may lead us downward or upward, according to the use we make of it. It may pander to pride and vanity, lust and appetite, or inspire to virtue, religion, and inward life. It is a love which should be brought within the sphere of moral government as much as the passions of our lower nature. It is a love, too, which perhaps leads as many astray, corrupts as many lives, degrades as many natures, as almost any feeling we possess. Its abuses are fearful in their character and wide in their influence. It is a power of mind lovely to behold, and even when degraded it is like a diamond in the dust. So far as the love of natural things is concerned, there is but little danger of abuse.
Nature is always lovely, and always to be admired. She always reminds us of God and our duty; always teaches us our own littleness and frailty, and works upon all our passions a calming subduing influence."
 - George Sumner Weaver
This place we live in is beautiful. Why? Because we serve a beautiful Creator. His creation reflects who He is. I don't know about you, but when I think about it that way, my walks in the park will never be the same.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen."-- Romans 1: 20-25

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