"For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise..."
By Folliott S. Pierpoint
I was in a touring choir of about 120 kids in high school and this is a song we crooned in four-part harmony near the end of each concert. Without fail, this classic and lyrical hymn would bring tears to the eyes of many in the audience, mostly the older folks in the crowd.
And, no wonder. Their eyes have seen the miraculous beauty of the world the longest. They have been witness more often to the blushed-kisses of the morning dawn and the wildly extravagant fuchsia and peach nectar-soaked sunsets. They keenly understand that life's treasure-box moments are precious gifts not to be taken for granted, but instead esteemed with moved emotion. Those farther down life's pathway understand how fleeting our days can be and just how truly marvelous their God is.
Psalm 19:1 says: "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork."
I'll say. His creation is a triumph! The layers and textures of it defy the human mind. Who among us has not been lifted awake from slumber by the varied songbird-cries coming from our diverse and colorful flower gardens? Or, been hypnotized by the moon's perfect-sphere-glow lulling us to fade and dream? Or watched a day's Grande Finale sunset show with complete astonishment?
So many distinct details! Creation's canvas is ever-changing, yet constant in its' jaw-dropping daily spectacles. Each day brings new chances to walk into God's art museum, free of charge, and appreciate the utter mastery of it all. Then, at the close of each day, He lovingly prepares a brand new exhibit for us to discover when we awake. What a gift!
One thing I know on its' face to be true: Only God can devise such perfection, artistry and beauty. Many scientists claim that an energy event in space involving instantaneously conjured, random particles made this all possible. Hey, I'm no scientist, but to me, it seems that total chaos cannot by happenstance morph together to make a world as intricately precise and gorgeous as ours. The only plausible explanation is Divine design. And I'm perfectly okay with that.
The universe is a masterpiece of massive proportions. I read recently that astronomers estimate that there are between 200 million and 2 trillion galaxies in the cosmos but that the number is impossible to know. Of course not. Since God is immeasurable, His creation is too, which is the Divine's smoking gun of reason for faith. All evidence points in one direction: God is guilty of premeditated creation in the first degree.
The most wonderful part is that the earth is a mirror of the love He has for us. It reflects back to us His nature, through the very nature we inhabit - a poetic and sacred waltz between God and His beloved creation. As we whirl around the dance floor, let us be joyful in this vast and benevolent affection.
I have a friend that uses the phrase, "sit in the wonder". This means to not rush through things, not neglect being still and watching the sun dip behind the line of the horizon, and forget to watch, listen to, and feel it. She reminds me to not take for granted all of the gifts generously granted by God as we live out our numbered days. What a worthwhile habit!
Let's all slow dance daily with wonder and reflect on the One who is leading us. Don't forget to linger in the world's glorious art gallery, appreciating the priceless and rare works that are here today and gone tomorrow.
Know wonder, sit with it, and hold it close.
Question: What is your most favorite part of God's creation? Say a prayer of thanksgiving for it, and if you can, go and be still there today and relish in the beauty of it, made for your deep enjoyment by the One who loves you deeply.