Thursday, October 29, 2009


"Who of you, by worrying can add a single hour to his life." (Mt. 6:27) 


         I was sitting in a lecture on “friendship evangelism” when I first saw this picture.  It contained a beauty beyond what I had ever seen.  And I know beauty.  I have lived most of my adult life in the Rocky Mountains.  I have seen the velvet on the budding antlers of deer and elk.  I have heard the majestic cry of elk in mating season.  I have seen 400- foot waterfalls and the subtle rills of the small “brookie” streams.  Beauty?  You ought to see my wife, daughters, and granddaughters. 


            One evening, while returning a snowmobile from Flagg Ranch, on the South End of Yellowstone, to Mammoth on the north end, I saw beauty.  There is a rare phenomenon in Yellowstone that I have not witnessed anywhere else on earth.   It occurs on God-selected evenings, just about sunset.  The sky, from the western horizon to the eastern the sky, turns a brilliant pink.  It takes the breath away.  Add to the beauty of this phenomenon a land covered with a blanket of white snow.  The blue sky becomes pink, and the white snow absorbs the color.  The whole world bursts with beauty.  It explodes.  But God was not finished with me yet.  He added to that scene two bald eagles.  Their blackness against the carnation sky would have been beautiful enough, but their heads took on the brilliance of their surroundings. 


            As I was saying, I was hauling this snow machine back to Mammoth.  It was an end- of- season trip, and quite frankly I wasn’t happy about it.  Snowmobiling in Yellowstone is a wonderful treat.  It unveils all sorts of beauty in majestic and subtle ways.  But for the employees of that grand park who must ride the roads every day, it becomes routine, monotonous, and by the end of the season, even painful.  Trying to avoid the Old Faithful crowd, I traveled the east road around the lake, which had technically closed for the season.   Everything was white.  The lake was white, the exposed earth was white, and even the old lodge poles were flocked in white.  And then, almost without warning, the sky, the landscape, the mountain tops, the lake, and yes, the heads of the eagles turned pink.  I shut the machine down and basked in the beauty of the moment as I watched the eagles cavort against the purely western sky.  I say all this to say, I understand beauty. 


            Now that I have wandered far off course, let me take you back to that beautiful picture I saw in that lecture.  It was a pair of feet – feet gnarled by bunions, twisted by time, and cracked by lack of care.  They were feet that had accumulated many miles upon this earth, and each mile was a mile of love.  All you had to do to see God’s plan for each of us human types was to gaze upon those feet.  You see, they were the feet of Mother Teresa.  Hers were feet that walked upon this earth in service to her God.  What could be more beautiful?  I can tell you that the crimson head of bald eagles, the bugle of an elk, the roar of a waterfall, or a 24-inch trout on the end of a six- pound test leader can never compare with the beauty of that picture.


            Beauty?  I understand beauty.  It drives my soul.  It is the driving force behind my wood carvings.  Not that I think I am God, or even particularly good, but I love to see the grains of wood take on the life form of one of God’s creatures.   But do you know what I like most about beauty?  It is the irrefutable argument against atheistic teachings.  Think about it.  If “survival of the fittest” were true, how would beauty have survived?  In theories that point only to form and function, what earthly purpose would beauty serve? Why would the “no-god” care if there was beauty to make us pause and be refreshed?  Beauty is the eternal proof of God.  It points to Him and makes Him known.  I join with Paul (Rom. 1:20) in saying that if a person can look upon beauty and not see God, they are without excuse.

             I would like to argue that beauty has an opposite.  It is not ugliness.  It is not distortion and lies.  The opposite of beauty is worry.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes that clear.  He tells us that even the lilies of the field and the birds of the air are adorned by God’s beauty.  That’s our sign not to worry.  Worry and beauty cannot co-exist.  When you look upon real beauty and if you open your heart to it, it washes away worry.  The only way you can worry in the face of your sleeping child is to not let the beauty of that moment sink deep into the core of your being.  Worry comes from trying to protect what God has given – without God.  I love beauty.  It tells me every day, there is a God in heaven who cares about what my eyes see, what my ears hear, and what my mouth tastes.  Thank you, God.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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Victor, ID 83455

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