Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Beauty




“Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in.”
from “You Are the Sun” by Sara Groves

I recently spent a week in Northern Minnesota. It was a wonderful vacation.

We stay at a house on Little Bowstring Lake, courtesy of some very generous and kind relatives. I bring my boat and, several times during the week, get up early and go exploring some of the many lakes in the area. There are many to choose from. In fact, if you pick up a map of Itasca County, it looks like a sponge. There are lakes everywhere.

On one particular morning, I ventured off down the main road to mile marker 17 and took a left down a minimum maintenance road. It took seven minutes to traverse the final 1.7 miles to the lake.

When I got to the lake, I found the boat ramp sloped at pretty close to a 45 degree angle and the ramp itself was at 90 degrees to the access road.

This would test my trailer-backing skills.

After three attempts (pretty good by my standards) the boat was in the water.

I pushed off, got my feet wet doing so, and hopped in the boat. After arranging all the various equipment, I stood up and looked out into the lake.

I was shocked.

The lake was flat and still as glass. My boat was sitting in a long, narrow bay flanked by towering white and red pines, balsam fir, and birch trees. The sky was a brilliant blue. I looked down into the clear water and the vegetation below me glowed a beautiful emerald green. I could clearly see the bottom of the lake. I glanced at the depth finder.

I was in 12 feet of water.

“Thank you, Lord,” I said as I stood in awe of the beauty around me.

It was so still and calm I could not bear to start the noisy gas motor. I put down the electric motor and silently coasted along the shoreline. I hadn’t gone very far and a fat crappie bit. I caught several more, in addition to largemouth bass, a rock bass, and a very large and beautiful pumpkinseed sunfish.

I probably trolled along two miles of shoreline that morning. It was one of the most beautiful mornings I have ever experienced.

As I was driving back along that bumpy, 20 mph forest road, the thought occurred to me,
“If God gives us this kind of beauty in a sin-filled world, I wonder what heaven will be like.”

And that’s the thing.

God put us in charge of this world and He never took away our free will. We can choose to preserve and protect  and enjoy places like this, we can choose to be beautiful in the words we speak to others, we can choose to lift beautiful praises to God, we can choose to act in love to our neighbors, or we can choose ugly words and ugly thoughts and ugly actions.

It’s our choice.

Sara Groves has another song on the same album called “Add to the Beauty.” Some of the lyrics are:

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold…

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside…

And this is grace, an invitation to be beautiful.


Do you have a story of being awed by the beauty of God’s creation? How do we keep the peace and beauty we find on vacation welling up inside us when we go back to our jobs?

Today's post written by Dan Jones


Today’s Praise
Psalm 96:6
Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary



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