By Elizabeth Prata
Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities; his eternal power and divine nature; have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Beauty in this world is an echo of Eden. Our very souls in their innermost parts know God is in the center of the beautiful. No? Then why do we sigh when the sun dips below a beautiful sunset? Why do we ache for the sweep of the tide and the undulations of the ocean? Why do we thirst for moonrise, settle into the sway of the pine tree? God is beauty. We long for the open spaces of our soul to be filled with His empyrean substance as expressed through nature.
Is it true that a person can come to know about God through nature? Yes. The scriptures say so, and that is the ultimate authority. It is how I came to know God. It is how I was so perplexed about how the world came into being was confused and why we humans existed upon it.
As I traveled, each time I saw an amazing natural event I’d think: “this could not have all come about by chance.” I’d think, “I do believe God is behind all this. It is too beautiful otherwise. Too complex.”
Satan, created the most beautiful of all angels, perfect in beauty (Ezekiel 28:12, 17), likely could not get humans to dispense entirely with the planet’s beauty, so the environmental movement is about being utilitarian. We don’t say ‘save the environment because it is beautiful!’ we say ‘save the environment because we can get stuff out of it!’ The environment is just someplace we extract energy rather than experience beauty and perhaps, contemplate God. God shines in His glory in the heavens and in His whole creation and as far as satan is concerned, the less we see it as beautiful the less chance we will see of God in it.
Second, our lives are increasingly crowded. We are over-scheduled. Our mental life is increasingly devoid of meditation time, imagination, contemplation. Every moment is utilitarian. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to reflect on the wonders in nature I was seeing during my travels. If I was too busy commuting and working and scheduling every moment I never would have pondered the larger things. And never have eventually wondered about God in them. Satan diminishes the glory of God’s creation to a utilitarian product and crowds our lives with less time to contemplate it.
Beauty draws you. Combat satan. Consider beauty. God is there. Praise the Creator for His wondrous works!