What if you resolve to daily search out at least one beautiful or amazing thing this new year? Small things, or once-in-a-lifetime things, or beautiful moments recognized in the middle of the mundane — all mixed up together, there for you to be surprised by each and every day. Resolve to daily do so: your life will be changed for the better.
But don’t leave it there. Remember, as you tune into the world around you, that the thing of beauty, the moment of amazement is, as C.S. Lewis pointed out, the signpost. Or to re-phrase: the thing of beauty is like the highway sign that directs you to your dreamed-of destination.
Picture this scenario: On your way to the airport, you see a highway sign pointing you in the correct direction. You don’t stop and admire the sign itself. You, rather, admire what the sign represents. You have your bags packed, and you’re finally on your way to Machu Picchu or the Eiffel Tower or Mount Kilimanjaro. The roadway sign tells you you’re getting close. You’re filled with excitement! The long-awaited trip is really happening! You might stop for a picture with the sign because you want to remember each special moment of your very special trip, but you quickly turn your thoughts (and feet) toward the destination itself.
Instead, let the thing of beauty take you through, take you in, take you higher, toward the greater mystery, toward the place you were created to enjoy. Toward the Person you were created to know.
In those moments when you find yourself surprised by the unexpected sign, be grateful. And when you come across things that amaze you, resolve to record the experience in your mind. Train yourself to live on a constant look-out for the beautiful and awe-inspiring! But, don’t stop there. Move on, after you acknowledge and enjoy the sign itself, and be amazed at the Maker of the beautiful and wondrous. Move on to worship God.
So, stop to absorb the beauty of the city brightly lit. Slow down and relish the wafting aroma of your favorite coffee. Revel as you taste a sweet berry, or gaze into eyes of blue. Marvel at dancing golden light, and flowers stretched toward the sun. Listen for the patter of raindrops, and the chirp of birds, and the wind’s whistle as it whips past. And remember as you move through each day of this new year: Even in moments of mundaneness, beauty thrives — amazing is a child’s tug at your leg, or a dog’s happy bark, or an unexpected reflection in an everyday puddle. Resolve to become aware of the amazing, and to mark each moment in your mind. And resolve to take the next step: worship the moment’s Maker, the God who multiples His wondrous deeds and his thoughts toward us!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!