Behold the Beauty

Dear One,

I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish lately. Everything seems harder and heavier, like moving through weighted water. More effort, less flow. More duty, less delight. This happens, yes? I’ve chosen to not spend additional energy trying to figure it out or fix it. I’m simply noting it, bringing it before God, and asking if there’s anything I’m to do. 

Philippians 4:8 (Message) came to mind:
 “You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on … the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

Yes. It’s true. I take note of that. 

This morning, Spirit brought me to Psalm 27:4 (Message) which seems to give me further instruction. 

 “I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing (let’s not complicate this, after all): To live with Him in His house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate His beauty; I’ll study at His feet.”

One thing: to live consciously in the presence of God. And while I’m there, to contemplate His beauty.

Contemplate means to consider one particular thing for a long time, and in this case, it’s beauty. But here’s something new I learned, and isn’t it fun to learn new things?? “Beauty,” in the Hebrew, is not easily conveyed in one little English word. It can also be translated:

  • Sweetness
  • Pleasantness
  • Friendliness
  • Graciousness
  • Goodness
  • Loveliness
  • Splendor
  • Delightfulness

Here’s where the fun comes in😊. What might happen if everyday for the next 8 days, I were to choose one of those words?

On Monday, I’ll contemplate God’s sweetness.
On Tuesday, I’ll contemplate God’s graciousness, etc.

What might happen if each morning I spent a mere 3-5 minutes doing so, sitting there filling my mind with nothing but God’s delightfulness or pleasantness, considering them from all sides – marveling – looking at nothing but them alone?

Might I then think about them all day long? Might my awareness of them become heightened as I move through my day? Might I begin to notice them in others I encounter (even intentionally looking for them) or in the creation around me? And, wonder of wonders, might they become more evident in me? Friend, this could be revolutionary.

Our home is a duplex and we built it with friends who share the other side. When we were in the building phase, we were trying to decide whether to have a stone or brick front. The duplex next to us was brick. Would it look odd to have stone next to it? As we contemplated this, we suddenly saw examples of brick and stone together everywhere. We had never noticed it before. Why? We simply weren’t looking for it. 

See what I’m saying?

I think this potential practice of beholding beauty has great possibility for bringing more delight into the drudgery I feel. I look forward to trying it out with greater intentionality.

Behold the Beauty: Our Little Life Words of the week.  

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DEEPER DIVE
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Ponder:

  • What do you fill your mind with and to what effect?

Practice:

  • Join me in contemplating one aspect of beauty every day this week. Search for it in God, others, and creation in the same way my hubby and I looked for the combo of brick and stone as we built our home. And when you find it, share it.
  • A dear friend of mine, Cindy Van Lunen, redeems her cancer diagnosis by taking (and sharing) sunrise and sunset pictures each and every day on Instagram.  Follow her on IG to behold her beauty.

Play

Pray:

  • Open my eyes that I may see.
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