ODJ: the power of beauty

January 15, 2015 

READ: Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time (v.11).

Sunsets. People tend to stop what they are doing to watch them . . . take pictures of them . . . admire their splendour.

Last January my wife and I watched the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico. We were surrounded by a crowd of people—mostly strangers—who had gathered at the beach to watch this nightly ritual. At the moment the sun fully disappeared below the horizon, the crowd broke into applause.

Why do people do that? I would suggest it’s the power of beauty! Beauty speaks to our hearts like few things do. It not only draws us into itself, but it also has the power to take us to something beyond itself. Ultimately, it can inch us ever much closer to the Maker of beauty.

The 20th century French philosopher Simone Weil wrote: “The soul’s inclination to love beauty is the trap God most frequently uses in order to win it.” As the ancient writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time” (3:11).

Beauty is absorbed through the senses our Creator gave us, and it can be found just about anywhere. We can see it in a sunset or in a fresh blanket of snow. We can hear it while listening to a favourite work of music or feel it in the soft, furry coat of a pet. Our hearts can sense it in the kind words of a friend. We can smell it in the aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee. We can see it in the brush strokes of an artist’s painting.

Beauty may indeed be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s something we all need on a daily basis. It’s a gift from God that renews and gives life to our souls. —Jeff Olson

365-day plan› Genesis 24:28-67

Read Philippians 4:8 and consider how Paul’s words remind us to think about what is truly beautiful in God’s eyes. 
How can you bring more beauty into your life? How can you share God’s beauty with others this week?