May the sun bring you new energies by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away any worries you may have. May gentle breezes refresh your soul and all the days of your life, may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty. ~ Unknown
Today's run was beautiful! Most people would find this statement to be a little difficult to comprehend, especially if they don't run or exercise. To them, an eleven mile run is tantamount to being executed mafia style. You can see by the expression on their faces after you tell them how far you ran, that they think I am a weirdo to make such a statement. They get this contorted and twisted look that says...'This guy is crazy! How can he think running eleven miles is fun and beautiful?'
Confucius said that ‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.’ To capture the ‘reality’ of his statement may be difficult for us. The questions immediately begin to spring up from within and pour forth out of our minds of how anything can be beautiful when all THIS is happening to me? The lists of ‘bad’ things... from financial distress to sickness racking the body pumps diligently out of our hearts. The ‘pain’ of life seems to be enduring and blots out the reality of any beauty to behold around us. It just seems in this day and age our brains are being constantly bombarded with bad news. The negative surrounds us in an all encompassing act of blanketing the beauty of life. Bad news and the ugly represses the beauty of life and living, and pushes it into some dark corridor of our hearts. As though the only time we had to enjoy beauty was some long lost day of our youth. When we could roll in the grass, dash through a spring meadow, or lay on the ground in wonderment of a midnight starlit sky of a billion stars. No, we say to ourselves, those days are gone and are cloaked beneath a label of ‘in the past’. Beauty then, is categorized and placed on the shelf of a our past and relegated to as something being below our mature minds of adulthood.
Yet, deep inside each and every one of us, there resonates this inner fight to return. Oh! To be young again and to feel the cool grass crunch beneath our feet or grab a seeding dandelion and blow the white fluffy parachutes into to the wind and watch their loops and sways as they travel in a warm summer time breeze. We yearn for a moment of beauty and yet when the moment comes... when we are confronted with beauty, our minds either ignore it or we are thrown into some cognitive conflict. Like the man in the scripture who could not be tamed. Who, when he saw the Lord in the distance, all at once fell down in worship and yet tried to repulse him with his words, ‘What have I to do with thee?’ Caught in the crossfire of his torments, on the one hand he worshiped the Lord, but in his next breath, he tried to push him away. Is this not a picture of the modern day us? We look out and ‘see’ something of beauty and yet we quickly remove the thought of it as though it has no redeeming value. Just like the man of the Gadarenes, out of the tombs of our present day mind set, comes the cry, “I don’t like it. It’s too beautiful!’
The renown art historian, Herbert Reed, reminds us, “It is not so often observed that the same forces that have destroyed the mystery of holiness have destroyed the mystery of beauty.” So many of us, if not most of us, if not all of us... are so busy, we think we do not have time to appreciate beauty. Like the sun hiding behind the clouds, we know the warmth of beauty is out there somewhere, but we push if off as though the warmth is not for us but is reserved for ‘another day’ or for someone else who has the time to stop and ‘smell the roses’. To take time to enjoy beauty is tantamount to committing death by robbing oneself the pleasure of a moment. How often in our time-constricted schedules and burned out spirits, do we pass unknowingly by a lovely flower, fail to hear the symphony of the roaring tide, stop and smell the fragrance of a cool spring breeze, or even forget to see the glory of God in our own humanness? The list of not just seeing the beauty of life around us but perceiving that beauty is even there could probably go on and on. The point here, is not to degrade or tear down, but to once again gently shake that lust for life that each of us have within us. To remind us that many of the fetters and chains that seemingly have us bound are of our own doing. We are either handcuffing ourselves or allowing someone else to handcuff us into a jail cell of their own creation.
Often time the Lord would leave the ‘rat race’ of the multitudes and visit the garden of Gethsemane with His disciples. Leaving the hectic pace of ‘modern’ life, the Lord was moved to a place of beauty. Yes, we know he went there to pray, but is it possible He went there to remind Himself of ‘life’s beauty’. I find it interesting the Lord did not confront the pains of his inner turmoil in the market place, the financial district, or in a theater. It was here in the garden of Gethsemane where He really met himself and it was there where He came to face to face with the truth.
You know you want too... you know you want to touch it again. You know you want to smell it again. You know you want to be refreshed by it again. You know you want to hug it again. So today, I want you to stop and find a garden of Gethsemane, and breathe a breath of beauty and maybe, just maybe, you may find the answer you have been seeking as you unlock the beauty of your day.