“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
We don’t like to wait for things. We live in an increasingly fast-paced world where what we want or need is often available right at the tips of our fingers. But what if the best things in life are worth waiting for? Do you want to spend your whole life being instantly gratified and yet come to the end and realize you are not satisfied, that you can’t even remember what is important anymore? When it’s too late to do anything about it, do you want to come to the awareness that nothing in your life really stands out because you were too busy rushing through it and trying to make everything work so you and your loved ones could live a safe and comfortable life?
Perhaps there is beauty found in the waiting. Perhaps beauty needs to be cultivated and matured, like a caterpillar in a cocoon becoming its truest self. When we rush things, they remain unfinished, incomplete masterpieces. We demand to be seen and known and recognized for our beauty, talents, or achievements, and yet in the demanding itself something is lost. Pieces of potential splendor fall off one by one as we strive to turn others’ eyes towards what we are or the great things we have done.
Instant attention will always lead to disappointment.
The thing is, people are good at sensing pride, immaturity, and motives that are not genuine. Demanding attention before we are ready to receive it may bring initial happiness, but soon, people will forget and turn away. Because they want to connect. They want to see that the beauty consists of more than an outward display. They want to see that it will last, that it’s willing to fight, and that it won’t give up on them when they need a string of hope to cling to.
Beauty brings hope. Beauty is the opposite of pride.
Beauty says, “I know who I am, but I do not flaunt what I possess as if I am the only thing that can give you a sense of fulfillment. No, because you must find me for yourself. The best things are the things worth searching for and noticing. Making it easy to find would take the joy out of the discovery.”
I believe Jesus of Nazareth is the ultimate example of true beauty. Born to a young, unknown virgin in a small, dirty stable in a no-name town, he did not flaunt his identity. Even though if anyone had the right to, he certainly did. But he came to be discovered by those with eyes to see and those ready to wait. With those willing to search out the truth and notice the beauty beneath his appearance.
Jesus never demanded attention. Rather he presented himself in quiet strength, never questioning his own identity, but never forcing others to accept or acknowledge him. He knew this was the only way for the true followers to be free, to know love, to know they had found something worth more than all the world claimed to offer.
He calls us to seek him. He calls us to wait.
He calls us to believe in our own beauty, but never flaunt it.
Those who really want what we have to offer will undoubtedly find it.
And we will undoubtedly find that which we choose to seek out.