A Native American prayer asserts:
I walk with beauty before me.
I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty below me.
I walk with beauty all around me.
Your world is so beautiful, O God!
In that same spirit, the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead affirms that the aim of the universe is toward the production of beauty. Spirituality truly involves embracing a beautiful God, as Patricia Adams Farmer suggests in her book by the same name.
While there is pain and suffering in the world, the ultimate reality of life is beautiful. Pause a moment to reflect on your “beauty spots.” Some of them may be “special” and require a long drive or plane flight; others are simply everyday beauties. When I think of my beauty spots, I visualize walking along the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island; the Seventeen Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula; and Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. But, each day I also rejoice in the beauty of the sunrise in my Lancaster, Pennsylvania neighborhood.
Open your eyes. You are surrounded by beauty. Share the joy with others today, and make a commitment to preserving the beauties of this good earth. As a reminder, repeat the following affirmations throughout the day:
I experience wonder and beauty everywhere I look.
I reverence God’s presence in all creation.
Today, take time for a “beauty break.” (Patricia Adams Farmer) Rest in God’s care and rejoice in God’s beauty.
Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, healing companion, retreat leader and lecturer, and author of nineteen books, including Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living; God’s Touch: Faith, Wholeness, and the Healing Miracles of Jesus; and Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry. He has taught at Georgetown University, Wesley Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is currently theologian in residence at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at email@example.com