Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chasing Beauty

And the pride of my heart makes me forget
It's not me but you
Who makes the heart beat
I'm lost without you
And your dying for me

Tell me
What is our ending
Will it be beautiful, so beautiful
Will my life
Find me by your side
Your love is beautiful, so beautiful
At the end of it all
I want to be in your arms

-BarlowGirl “Beautiful Ending” (second half only)

I saw this beautiful sunset yesterday. It was gorgeous, the kind you see hanging in frames. I found myself chasing after it to get a better look at its beauty. I literally went an exit father to get a better view, to maybe take a picture so that I could capture just a glimpse of it to keep (I didn’t bother…stupid iPhone camera-you would think for what you pay, it could at least have a decent camera). All of the sudden I was calm (haha the singing baby in my backseat didn’t help). It was as if coming in contact with such beauty reminded me there is still beauty in this world.

It got me thinking. Why, when we come in contact with the beauty of Christ, do we not chase after Him to get a better look? He created all we see. Any beauty we experience was hand crafted by Him. So, why aren’t we going out of our way to experience Him and that beauty at every turn? Why are we content to live within the confines of the unattractive?

Is it that we doubt what we see (or rather feel I guess), that it doesn’t exist? Are we afraid we are like the iPhone camera, incapable of capturing that beauty and sharing it? Maybe we fear the calm that will come because we have bought in to the world’s hype that in order to have a fulfilling life we must have the chaos. Or perhaps we are just unwilling to go the extra mile.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I feel. I legitimately feel like I am close to getting past this part of my life. But I still have this lingering feeling of dread and fear. What am I so afraid of? Honestly? So, much. I’m afraid of starting over, I’m afraid of taking a chance, I’m afraid I will never be ready to open up again for fear of getting hurt again. I honestly also fear that God won’t bring me what I want, that it is impossible. I have to stop right there and chide myself. A quote from two posts ago will sum it up nicely (which I am so sorry, I went back and added the lyrics I was referencing so hopefully it makes more sense if you read it and were confused). “For life to be fully lived, it must wrestle the impossible and win. For life to be fully lived, the God of the Impossible must be fully trusted with the writing of the script” (Eric Ludy from “When God writes your life story”). So for starters, I need to remind myself I believe that statement. Therefore, I cannot be afraid of my future in terms that Christ cannot fulfill my longings. He is the only one who can. So, then what am I really afraid of?

I have mentioned before how I am blessed to be surrounded by so many incredibly wise people. I was talking to my dad yesterday about my fears and he set up the most perfect scenario of my problem. He said, “ You’re looking at life as if it’s half empty and getting emptier every day. You need to start looking at life as if it is half full and God is filling it everyday.” How differently would I feel, act, and be if I truly looked at life with that kind of optimism? I admit I am a pessimist. It’s not that I don’t believe that good things can happen, I just often believe they won’t.

To look at all parts of life, at everything that happens and turn from the viewpoint that my life is becoming emptier to the fact that each event is God’s way of filling. That is a game changer. Think about it in your own life. How would that kind of thinking change your perspective on anything? On everything? I think it would make us chase that beauty. That’s what God wants, He wants us to chase after Him and let Him fill our cups.

A friend of mine put the following quote up on facebook last night (seriously, I’m getting some good stuff from people on there). It said, “I’ve finally realized that sometimes you lose the good things in life to make room for the great things.” How often do we look at things not going our way as our life being emptier, our cup becoming less full. Breakups, job losses, mistakes, unexpected turns, dreams unfulfilled. What if maybe those things happen because God is filling your cup with beauty instead. What if He’s moving out the good things to make room for the great, the epic, His plans?

“We melt with fear when we find ourselves in an impossible situation in life, because we don’t trust God as our life’s Director to come through for us and create a triumphant ending. We don’t know our God as the God of the Impossible” (Ludy). Is this true for you? It so often is for me. I often look at God as the God of the Possible-able to make all things happen. But so often I forget he is the God of the Impossible-there is NOTHING He cannot do if He decides. So when I let my fear of the impossible in my life control me, it is as if I am telling God I don’t believe you can come through for me, that I tell Him my cup is getting empty, that I say I’m not willing to strive for His beauty. That last statement is a game changer for me. I refuse to keep living like that.

I love the song referenced above. Jesus’ love is beauty and that is what I want to strive for. I want a beautiful ending, not a fairytale one, but one forged by Christ’s love in all things. I want a cup that is forever being filled by the Almighty. Hope you do too.

Are you chasing the beauty of Christ in your life? Why not?
What fears are keeping you from it and what can you do to change that?
Do you need to change the way you view God? Not as just the God of the possible but of the impossible?
Is your glass half-empty or half-full?

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