We end up settling. We settle for what's here on earth and begin to think that this is the most beautiful that it can get. Whether it is two hearts uniting as one, the miracle of birth, or the changing of the seasons, we mistake earthly beauty as God's best for us.
But this isn't the case.
God's beauty far surpasses everything that this world has to offer. This world will pass away, but God will endure forever, and He is the one who set everything into motion. God did not just create one aspect of the world and one aspect of beauty, but He created the entire thing. This must mean that God transcends this beauty.
When we pursue beauty, it is true that we do not just want to settle for something that looks "nice." We want something that other people can marvel and wonder at. This sometimes manifests itself in art, a successful job, material things, or lusts of the flesh.
The pastor of The Painted Door, Mark Bergin, talked about the fact that because we want what is most beautiful, we end up chasing other people and desiring that beauty, because we are made in the image of God. We are as close as it gets to seeing the true beauty of God. Have you ever stopped to think about this?
Being created in the image of God is not just a "nice thought," or something that you tell others to make them feel better about themselves. This idea, this truth, is huge. To be made in the image of God is to be infinitely valued. We are not just randomly made through evolutionary processes, but we have a purpose. But sadly, this is what we settle for most often. We think that it is enough to find a beautiful person and be satisfied with that. But there is so, so much more.
Mark Bergin said something on Sunday that really struck me. He said, "The cross of Christ is without question the most beautiful thing in all of human history." How could this be? Christ's death was anything but beautiful. It was bloody, gory, and shameful. Yet what it represented is what is truly beautiful. He endured that wretched death in order to save wretched sinners. Wretched sinners like me, like you, like everyone who has ever lived and will ever live. He died so that we may live in eternity with Him in heaven, if we accept His gift of an intimate relationship with Him.
This..... This is beauty.