Have you ever thought much about clouds? I often take notice of them when I am out and about. Having not studied Meteorology, though, I often wonder why the clouds are in their particular formations. My favourite clouds to ponder are the ones that look like they have been raked across the sky, no longer fluffy, but rather a thin layer of white streaks. Particularly when these are bordered by blue skies, they present an intriguing, visual display.
Or, perhaps, it’s the beautiful sunrises and sunsets that captivate your attention. Just a few hundred metres down the road from where I live, there is a spot where many budding photographers can be seen waiting to capture the sunset. They focus their cameras across an open field towards the mountains nearby, in pause as they await the few minutes of opportunity to photograph such beauty. These magnificent combinations of colour can end our day with awe-inspiring grandeur.
Working in the mental health field, I hear a lot about taking the time to notice nature. I like that even in a secular field, noticing creation is something that is recommended. They say to listen to the sounds of the ocean or the birds chirping; appreciate the magnificent colours of a sunset; take time to literally smell the roses; or walk barefoot on the lush, green grass and feel the softness beneath your feet. No doubt, these are all lovely things to do. And momentarily, can distract your negative thoughts and help you to appreciate the beauty that is around you. However, I believe the main point of doing this is being missed.
We need to go one step further and not only see the beauty and splendour of creation but even more so, see the beauty and splendour of the Creator. Think about the various art forms that we enjoy. Whilst a painting or sculpture is greatly admired, the accolades go to the artist. Beethoven’s 9th is an amazing piece of music, but Beethoven, being the composer, receives the praise for his work. A patchwork quilt may be perfectly sewn together, but the quilter receives the praise. And, in spite of how unique a house design may be, it is not the house that receives the award but the architect.
The beautiful sunset, the strength of an ox, the intricacies of a leaf – as amazing as they are, it is not they that should be praised but the Creator of our universe. We should come before Him in humility, acknowledging His creativity, His strength, His glory, His majesty. Whether you already admire creation regularly or not, I encourage you to take a few minutes each day to look closely at what has been created and then reflect in awe on the One who created such an amazing tapestry of beauty. It is in these moments, that we can truly have the peace that surpasses all understanding.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.