Prone to Ponder

gaze upon the beauty

I’m having one of those days…a day that has my heart sprinting in seventeen different directions with all her passion and might. A day when the future is filled with “too much good stuff” (just like am-pm). A day that has my mind jumping around, giddy with new ideas and prospects and creative to-do’s.

It’s a good feeling and it’s a good mood to be in. It’s the direct opposite of the motivation-void that is depression. (Is this manic then? Or just too much coffee?) Regardless, it’s so nice to love and dream and get excited for the potential of the future.

But also…I’m in a breathless frenzy in my soul, floating off into the heights away from the solid ground.

Okay, breeeeathe. Calm down. Keep your feet firmly planted.

I am glad that I’m passionate and I love that I have dreams. I know this is how God created me to be and I can see it as a good thing. I’m so intrigued by the potential of fully experiencing the goodness of this life. And on my best, most optimistic days, my heart is set on so much.

I want to write books.

I want to be fluent in French and learn languages.

I want to finish school.

I want to serve on overseas trips.

I want to serve locally.

I want to be in fruitful ministry and be used for God’s glory.

These are only some of the passions that have been constants in my life for awhile now, some longer. (But over time I have decided that maybe it isn’t in the cards for me to be a professional drummer or champion swimmer or a dog trainer, or any of the other fleeting fancies I’ve had). But to have passions and to dream dreams makes the heart full and gives life meaning and purpose.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

And this list of dreams isn’t counting the other beautiful things of this life that are so easy to love. Family. Adventure. Dogs. Drive-In Movies. Cappuccinos. Traveling to new places. Seasons changing. Beautiful music. Summer evenings. Good poetry. Nice memories. It’s endless.

We live in a broken world, but, my God, there is so much beauty on this Earth. His creation is something to be marveled at. Every painted-sky sunset, every fragrant flower, miles of deep green rolling fields or the delicate, intricate wing of a butterfly hold traces of the Creator’s hand.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

And witnessing the kindness of an generous heart, genuine moments with close friends, bouts of uncontrollable laughter, flashes of complete clarity and pure love and sincere intimacy and all the gifts in this lifetime lead us to the Father’s heart.

There is much to love and so much to delight in, here. Be still my heart!

But in all these things, there is one greater still:
The love of God surpasses every good and pleasing thing in this world. In my heart of hearts, He is my one desire.

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

And sometimes I have to wonder: Am I in danger of being swept off my feet by the things of this world? Because in so many ways, this creation has potential for beauty and goodness.

But what am I really willing to die striving for?
Do I love Christ more than anything else in this world?
Do I long to pursue Him above all else, with all I have in me?

“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?” -Francis Chan

I have many passions, but only this matters: Am I still in a place where I would give anything to leave the world behind to be with Him for eternity?  Do I have unbridled joy in knowing that if my life ended tomorrow I’d be able to spend life everlasting with the Lord of all creation and leave all of these good temporal things behind? Or am I holding tight to the things of this short life? And is my heart discontent because of these unfulfilled dreams?

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
Psalm 73:25

If all my heart, soul, mind, and strength is set on loving the Lord my God, then is there even any question where my heart’s desire should remain?

But what if my perspective changed? What if I knew that everything I do and everything I love is part of my love for Him? And every gorgeous Autumn day and time spent with the ones I love and looking out on waves breaking onto the beach and learning to speak languages in lands foreign to me and marveling at clouds forming near the top of a mountain and a quiet morning writing something great and the shock of a full moon, yellow against the pitch black night—what if they are all a glimpse of our Creator, a window into His beauty and His majesty?

Every time you feel in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say:
“O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!”
Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

God, the works of your hand are so beautiful. I’m in awe of all the color and life and wonder that surrounds us. Search my heart. Examine my desires and test my motives. Let me see all good and perfect things as an image of You. Let me love people and Your creation only out of my love for You alone. And lead me to invest only in eternal things, that my life be pleasing to You.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

I see Your face in every sunrise, the colors of the morning are inside Your eyes.
The world awakens in the light of the day, I look up to the sky and say– “You’re beautiful.”
I see Your power in the moonlit night, where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright. We are amazed in the light of the stars, it’s all proclaiming Who You are– “You’re beautiful.”
I see Your face, You’re beautiful.

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