I have become a stalker of beauty, for moments of extravagance. My life has recently intensified in terms of busyness; my schedule tightened and became rigid. My remedy: leave my desk, take long winding walks, steal time for conversation. It’s counter-intuitive and seems frivolous, but these stolen moments of beauty, these soul-feeding moments, bring me back to myself and awaken a sleeping joy.

It’s not that I’m a beauty junkie; what comes most naturally would be to choose misery each day, smallness, the dry and mundane. But something inside pushes me out of myself for more and more. So often I find myself reciting Mary Oliver under my breath: “I don’t want to let go of the wrists / of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, / I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.”

I don’t want to grow so hungry for the things of this world—money, status, prestige, or even productivity—that I lose my hunger for the real things of the world: a blue sky, changing leaves, soft rain, sunlight moving across the kitchen table, laughter with the ones I love. I’d rather leave a few items on my to-do list left unchecked than to wither inside from lack of beauty.

I am never disappointed. An ease comes over me. What I am learning: my God is not a God of scarcity. The beauty that flows from Him is inexhaustible. Not only does this world re-create itself in extravagant gestures moment by moment—and for me, for me!—, but even time and money are abundant. There is money enough for all I need; time enough for all that must be done; time enough to laugh and savor and sleep. My needs shrink away; there is enough and more than enough for all I have ever needed.

There is more to living than mere survival. I am tasting a sweeter way, where life is not a series of transactions, where beauty is not a commodity, where I am not bound by money or time constraints. Instead, each thing—each moment, each individual drop of sunshine, each roadside flower, even each trampled and downtrodden person—is a gift from the good and generous One, waiting to be opened, admired, used, and enjoyed.

More than anything, I want to be the one with eyes to see, the one who has let down my umbrella and is soaking in that good life-giving rain, the one who spends everything in extravagant praise. All around me, everything is on fire, charged with the goodness of God. How can I not spend my days looking for the flame and saying, thank you, thank you, thank you, every time my eye lights upon it? And if not me, then who will?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: