While I was in seminary, one of my professors was talking about God’s glory in nature and in mankind. One of the lines of thought that he took that really caught my attention is that because God has created humans to bear his image, humans are the supreme reflectors of God’s glory in all of creation. This would infer that the spectacular glory of God is more nearly reflected in the murderer on death row than even the most beautiful wilderness landscape.
If there is anything that you could identify as a hobby of mine, it would be “outdoors.” Anything to do with exploring the outdoors is something I either a) really enjoy doing, or b) am hoping to try doing. So, this thought from my professor is stuck in my mind, especially when I’m out in the “wilderness” exploring and having a great time. I am constantly reminded that the beauty of this shocking, overwhelming, amazingly fun scene I am taking in, moment by moment, pales in comparison to the beauty of even the most frustrating or annoying or unloveable person in my life at that moment. I am reminded that I need to look for what is praiseworthy in them.
Last weekend, I got a chance to get away for just one night to go camp with some friends in the high desert just east of Phoenix. What a “reset” this kind of time is! Not to “escape” from humanity, but to reminded of that which is truly beautiful…and what I’ve been too critical to see.