I’m a decent stream fisherman for trout. On my last Sierra trip, in 13 hours of fishing I pulled in 43 trout, some up to 15”. That’s pretty good for smaller Sierra streams. No brag, just fact. (Kudos to the first that gets that allusion about “no brag”). Then came McGee Creek.
Driving south on old 395, I saw the line of trees marking McGee, and was ready to drive on by. Why? In ten or twelve stops there over the years, I have caught the grand and humbling total of two trout there, both last spring. Yep, entirely shut out before. But the stream’s beauty continues to entrance me—gorgeous holes that should shelter many hungry trout, an open streamside trail, and aspen and firs to provide shade.
And on this trip, the aspen glowed in their glory--yellow to orange to red, in the pic above. So, I gave in to temptation and headed up the road to take another shot. I carefully scanned the stream for the most promising area, walked down to the stream below, and dropped in my line. Once more, shut out. Not even a nibble where trout should have abounded and bit.
Even so, I made a good decision. I’m finding that my passion to catch trout is slowly yielding to enjoying the beauty of God’s nature. Sometimes, pragmatism doesn’t win the top spot on our priorities. Nor does effectiveness. Nor productivity. Nor acclaim. Maybe we should all seek beauty more, notice it more, appreciate it more. Why?
The beauty of creation reveals the character of the Creator. Ever think of how so much natural beauty is never seen by humans? Wildflowers grow in meadows unseen. Animals frolic and play with no human notice. Birds soar in joy and solitude. Seen only by God and the angels. So what is the practical purpose of beauty? Obviously, the attraction of beauty perpetuates many species. But what about the unseen beauty?
Did God create it for himself and the angels? Or is just a natural result of his character, a character of beauty and grace? I suspect the latter. So how does this impact us growing spiritually?
Kick Starting the Application
Have you ever considered what natural beauty reveals about the nature of God? Do you sometimes get sidetracked too much by desiring a beautiful exterior? Try to list five or six sources of beauty in life that tell you about God. What two or three aspects of God most capture you regarding beauty?