I told someone the other day that I get to go to New Zealand this year, which is a country I’ve wanted to visit since I was a young teenager. She proceeded to tell me that she heard it was rated the most beautiful country in the world. And that got me thinking.
What is this inveterate obsession with beauty we possess as a human race?
I mean, we are so hopelessly attracted to beauty that we will spend months and even years working our butts off just so we can go somewhere to be surrounded by it. We spend thousands of dollars just for beauty. Just to experience nature in all its glory. The primary reason I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand is because of its beauty. And I am not ashamed of the fact that I am irredeemably drawn to beautiful things.
Beauty calls something awake inside of me. It gives me space to breathe and it restores my soul. It reminds me of a home I can’t remember but that I’m made for. It highlights the fantastic mystery of realms unknown, and it satisfies imagination in ways that nothing else can. Peter Jackson was so enamored with New Zealand’s beauty that it became a fantastical setting for the Lord of the Rings films.
We long for beauty so much that we’re willing to work for it and go great distances to find it. And I think this is such a stunning aspect of humanity. See, we are meant for beauty. And beauty calls to beauty. I think when we surround ourselves with mountains and color and sunsets and lakes and cliffs and vast, rolling landscapes, these vistas touch the glory inside of each of us. As we behold beauty, we become more free to clearly see our own. I believe that God so deliberately created the beauty in nature as a gift to us and he meant it as a way for us to slow down and get back in touch with our true selves. Our nature as his glorious sons and daughters. Our calling as artists and creative people. As heroes and voyagers and fighters.
When I was little, I remember if I ever had the choice between receiving a sweet treat or a toy, I chose the toy. My reasoning was because it lasted. The candy was only temporary, so to me, what lasted was the better choice. No question. We all long for things that will last, that we can experience again and again. That will give us a sense of security and permanence. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that experiences are far more priceless than things. And even if situations or events are temporary, the beauty I’ve experienced spending time with people or in nature or in my travels is truly what lasts. Beauty and experience leave imprints on my heart. They mark me forever. I can hold onto them when everything else shakes and shifts around me.
Beautiful moments are what make up our lives. Not things or money. Beauty is what will last. With that belief, I remain unapologetically in pursuit of it. If it will give my heart room to breathe and to be, if it will help me become my truest self and cause me to fall more in love with the Creator of it all, it’s worth it to me.
So here’s to grand adventures, expanded imagination, limitless creativity, and wide open, beautiful places and experiences!