We need regular doses of beauty everyday. Sometimes it’s there to comfort and soothe our weary souls, while at other times it serves as an affirmation and celebration of life itself. But either way, we must learn to cultivate beauty that enriches our souls without settling for mere cheap pleasures that only pacify.
To be sure, beauty is a powerful force. And apparently we need an abundant supply. For instance, God paints a brand new sunrise every morning, gives us countless wildflowers and singing birds, a wide variety of tasty foods, not to mention the infectious laughter of children playing. He was not satisfied with a mere functional world, but gave us the full beauty of creation to enjoy as well.
But as with many things, we often misuse the good given to us.
For example, after a long and stressful day, beauty rightly provides the comfort and relief we crave. But it’s often easier to turn to one of our vices rather than to cultivate and pursue meaningful beauty that restores our souls. Junk food quickly reaches the point of diminishing returns, whereas true soul food provides deep comfort and satisfaction.
Likewise, in the joys of life, we rightly turn to beauty to affirm and offer us concrete expressions of life’s high moments. Graduations, weddings, and anniversaries, for instance, are generally marked with good eats and other various forms of celebratory beauty. But this is a need throughout our daily lives as well. And even here it’s tempting to settle for cheap thrills rather than discovering wholehearted and sensual delights that touch our souls and not just scratch a surface itch.
In the end, God has given us rich beauties to enjoy for the highs and lows of life. But we must do our part to learn to appreciate and drink deeply of it. And we miss the abundance of life God has for us without this beauty to comfort and to celebrate.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash