April 22, 2013

Beauty of the Earth

Last night, Amber and I finally got to watch Life of Pi. While I disagree with the theological message that there is no right or wrong religion, I did very much appreciate the beautiful images throughout the film. There were amazing pictures of a variety of animals - some I had never seen up close before - and from storms to sunsets, the movie was filled with the astounding beauty of the earth!

Looking across my yard this afternoon. :)
You don't have to go to the movies or get shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean to experience beauty, though. All you have to do is look for it! We get so busy sometimes, but how much time does it take to notice the flowers along your path or to notice a rainbow or soak in a sunset?

When I was in college, I took a couple trips to Northern Ireland, and I was amazed at how beautiful everything was there. Sadly, so many people I met there didn't even seem to notice their lovely surroundings because they were used to it and never really took the time to appreciate it. Then someone told me that after visiting the US, they had decided that Kentucky reminded them of Ireland more than any other state. I couldn't believe what I was hearing!

Ireland looks nothing like Kentucky, I thought, but they insisted that Kentucky had everything Ireland had - the green grass, the rolling hills, mountains, stone fences - even a castle!

"The only thing missing is the ocean!"

Well, I had my doubts until I came home, but back in Kentucky, I began noticing things almost as if for the first time. I was amazed at what a beautiful place this really is! I'd just never thought about it much because I was used to it.  

I had done the same thing I accused the people there of doing!

Rhododendrons in Northern Ireland...
This really hit home when I was so excited one day to show my mom a picture I took of some flowers I saw in Ireland. I was so excited to show her, but when she saw it she just started laughing at me.

Me: "What's so funny?"
Mom: "Those are rhododendrons... 
We have those out back!"

I couldn't believe it! I had gone thousands of miles away, and taken a picture of a flower we had in our own back yard!

So I make it a point to try to notice the beauty around me as often as I can - even if I can't see as well as others can - and I encourage you to look for the beauty that may be in YOUR own back yard that maybe you just haven't taken the time to notice lately!

Even if you don't live in Kentucky or Ireland, look for the beauty around you. God has given us a wonderful place to live, and it deserves to be appreciated and cared for! Doing so is even an act of worship!

For the beauty of the earth,          
     for the glory of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth 
 over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise          
             this our hymn of grateful praise!
- hymn by Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1864

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