Sunday, July 18, 2010

Guilty as Charged.

I am often accused of optimism. And while at a loss, most of the time, navigating how to respond to such a label, I can’t exactly disagree. I'm guilty. So shoot me. You see, in prime cliche fashion, my glass really is half full. I like it that way! While I acknowledge the pain and evil on this globe we call Earth is vast and deep, my experience proves that fixating on the problems never provided solutions. It doesn't really fix anything! What if we were to take a step back? One step out of the mire and eyes set on something more beautiful. Would that make a difference?

I am convinced that the objects you fix your eyes to, and the direction in which they are moving, makes all the difference. You can’t escape it. For where your eyes are fixed there too your feet will move. The promise of a fantastic view, will keep your feet moving upward-- past the shaky knees and screaming lungs one switchback after another. The promise of prestige will keep ones feet quick up the ladder of success. The intrigue of a connection will move sweaty palms and an awkward pick-up line across a crowded room. It’s simple. The things that captivate our affections and hold our attention will move us to tangible action-- in the direction of that object.

What about the bigger things in life? What about when life seems to be hard? What if we were to fix our eyes on beauty? On things that are most beautiful? Eyes lifted from the bad we find in this world, and fixed on the one thing that is most beautiful. Wouldn’t that change things? I have to argue, yes. Not only does it change things... it makes like just a bit sweeter!

You see, there is a beautiful Creator. One who has fashioned the world in which we live. One I have decided to fix my gaze on. One, who has captured my attention and wooed my affections. It is this Creator who has ordered and orchestrated the natural beauty I find in this world. The same Creator has also fashioned the people who fill it with capabilities and passions that reflect his grand beauty. Human hands, hearts, and minds capable of creating impressive beauty of their own!

Yes. People are hurting. Yes. People are hungry. Yes. People are dying. Starving. Suffering. I get that! I see it, and it settles deep in me. But, I have been created in the beauty of the Beautiful One, and live in a place surrounded by that same beauty. My hands have been empowered and I've been given a new heart motivated to create beauty of my own. So, with one foot in the mire, getting dirty for things that have caught my heart, I am steadfast. I am strengthened and excited! Beauty is present! It is transformative, increasingly so, in the most dire of situations in real, tangible ways. I am an agent of that! In the daily moments Beauty has the power to change things. It is on this I have chosen to set my gaze. As I do, it is changing me. As it does, the more I have to share. The more beauty in this world, the more it is changed for the better. How could it not? That is something worth getting fired up about!

In light of that, optimism is inevitable! Good things are happening and the promise of greater things is real, even when things look bleak! There is hope in that! Optimism, or maybe joy, is the fruit of that promise!

So, let my culprit be momentum, and beauty my charge-- not to positive naivety, but to action! Radical, joyful, awesome, powerful action with eyes set on that which is most beautiful! Life really is good! And Beauty really does change things!

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