Over the weekend on Sunday, I found myself in the bogs of Louisiana on an airboat. (I know this is far afield from the normal place you would expect to find your Pastor!) At first it looked like nothing more than murky water and desolate landscape, a place lacking beauty and nothing special at all. As I sat on the boat riding through the swamp, I noticed how uniquely beautiful the terrain was turning out to be upon closer inspection. As the pelicans were diving, the river was ebbing, and the sun was setting, I began to reflect upon beauty in unexpected places.
Lent is coming. Ash Wednesday is February 10th. On the first Sunday of Lent, a great many pastors will preach about Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. The wilderness was a desolate and lonely place, but I am sure it was filled with its own unique beauty. Jesus would become prepared for the rush of three years of ministering after this trying and lonely time. Jesus found a way to get ready for all God had for him during that time in the wilderness.
When you go through the desolate landscape of our lives, do you look for the beauty of that lonely landscape? When you journey through the mundane and ordinary, do you look for the everyday beauty found in the routine of life? In the rare moments when you get to spend time in the traditionally beautiful places (for example: the beach, the mountains, the museums, and the other lovely places) are you present in the moment fully taking in the beauty?
God created the beauty, God is aware of where you are in life, God loves each person and each landscape and God considers it all beautiful. So as you go through your day, look for the beauty God brought to that setting. As you interact with people, remember they are created in the image of God. When you go through the wilderness of the soul, look for the unique beauty in the midst of that circumstance.
Even in the desolate bogs of Louisiana, beauty is there if you will just be on the lookout for it.