God's Practical Beauty

One of the coolest things about God is that he creates beauty in just about everything he does.

This is glorious. I think of it as God finger-painting on the sky. But he only does it in the most unpopulated part of the planet, in the middle of the night when nobody’s looking.

Even when there’s nobody there to appreciate it, he makes beauty.

But this is more than that. The Northern Lights were out recently.  These beautiful decorations in the sky are the evidence (yet again) of his tender care for those of us that inhabit this planet.

The light show we see from the ground is caused by 

electrically charged particles from space entering the Earth’s upper atmosphere at a very high speed, the charged particles (or “plasma”) from the eruption on the surface of the sun we read about last week. (That explosion on the sun was actually larger than our entire planet!)

Most of these particles are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field, and continue their journey into deep space. A small percentage of particles leak through the Earth’s magnetic field and are funneled downwards towards the safe spaces around the Earth’s magnetic North and South poles, where they’re discharged safely.

It’s this light we see when we look at the Northern Lights. It’s God protecting us from the explosive radiation of the sun. Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field, and that’s why Mars has almost no atmosphere. It doesn’t need protecting: people don’t live there.

But even here, as God safely detonates the plasma from the sun’s eruption, he does it with beauty.

God seems to be a big fan of beauty.

Leveling Up in Authority

 Papa took me to school the other day.

I was driving somewhere or the other, minding my own business chugging down the freeway on cruise control. I was thinking about stuff. I do that.

Along comes this little white sports car; it passed me, and pulled right in front of me and slowed down, not a lot, but enough that I needed to drop out of cruise control and change lanes. So I did.

Then it sped up again, pulled in front of me again, and slowed down again. I wrestled with the temptation to say some things, but about that time it turned off onto the exit lane. I wrestled some more, and George Carlin’s quote came to mind (“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”).

I understand that Carlin was describing human judgmental human nature, not human driving, so I decided not to call the driver of the white car any sort of names; I recognized that whatever things I called him would function as a curse, cuz words do that, so I restrained myself. That’s not Dad’s way. I just kept driving. No big deal.

It was then I “heard” a video game “be-doop” noise in my spirit, and had the sense that I’d just “leveled up.” OK. That was interesting.

“Now I can trust you with authority in your words more, Son.”

Wait, what? That was a test? I had no idea!

I had a million questions, but he was patient with me. (That’s not actually uncommon.)

He reminded me of the parable of the Talents and its lesson: if I’m faithful with whatever he gives me responsibility for, the reward is more of it, and specifically more authority in the Kingdom (Matthew 25: “I will make you ruler over many things!”).

He explained that the principle was true with my words as well. As I’m faithful with using my words in ways that extend and expand the Kingdom, I’ll find that my words will have more effect.

I thought you might enjoy sharing my lesson here.