Editor’s Note: To start our New Year, we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at author Brett McCracken’s proposed “Wisdom Pyramid.” Over the course of six days, we’ll look at the roles that the Bible, the church, nature and beauty, books, the internet, and social media play in our lives.
Nature and Beauty
Our collective response to the August 2017 solar eclipse proves the power nature has to delight, humble, and unite us. When we soak in the transcendent beauty of a star, a planet, a mountain top, an ocean wave, or a newborn baby, we must acknowledge that we didn’t and couldn’t make those things happen. There is something much larger than us at work. In similar ways, the beauty in art and music can lure us toward something greater, capture our unspoken longings, and give us the opportunity to respond with our hearts.
- What wisdom have you learned from nature? The power of light over darkness during the eclipse? The hope of new life when bulbs begin to bloom? The necessary deaths every autumn? The patience of slow erosion? When is the last time you went for a walk?
- Brett McCracken quotes a headline from the L.A. Times: “We may live in a post-truth era, but nature does not.” Do you agree with this statement? How would you explain it?
- What art or music has shaped your soul? How many soul-shaping pieces are from your own culture, and how many from other cultures? Do you look for wisdom when you turn on Spotify, watch movies, or go to museums? What does that wisdom look like?
- How does your church incorporate nature and beauty into her existence? Does your church have windows? Does it use the arts to convey Biblical truths?
- Write out a moment you’ve experienced in nature and ask the question, “God, what are you teaching me here about yourself?”
- Reflect on your favorite human-made and God-made creations. What kind of wisdom is shown in each? How does the contrast make you feel about power, death, ambition, and peace?
- Are you active in caring for creation? Does your church act responsibly in terms of building practices, recycling, and her electric bill?
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about finding wisdom in books. Until then, make time today to look for God’s fingerprints all throughout creation.
Aimee Fritz delights in telling long, true stories about compassion, souls, and big mistakes among the everyday absurdities of her suburban life. Long ago she consulted companies, churches, and nonprofits. Now she runs Family Compassion Focus to funnel all that into helping people become lovable and loving World Changers. She recently co-wrote the Family Toolkit (free download) for Kent Annan’s Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice. Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly in the World (IVP). To arrange a meeting, a talk, or an article, contact Aimee via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).