Thought I would share an excerpt from John and Staci Eldredge's book "Captivating," as I look back over the pictures of the countryside and of the ocean that I have taken this summer. I highly, highly recommend John's writings, and I couldn't agree with his comments more:
I (John) just let out a deep sigh. That we even need to explain how beauty is so absolutely essential to God only shows how dull we have grown to Him, to the world in which we live, and to Eve. Far too many years of our own spiritual lives were lived with barely a nod to beauty, to the central role that beauty plays in the life of God, and in our own lives. How could we have missed this?
Beauty is essential to God. No-that's not putting it strongly enough. Beauty is the essence of God.
The first way we know this is through nature, the world God has given us. The earth in summer is brimming with beauty, beauty of such magnificence and variety and unembarrassed lavishness, ripe beauty, lush beauty, beauty given to us with such generosity and abundance it is almost scandalous.
Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful. Stop for a moment and let that sink in. We're so used to evaluating everything (and everyone) by their usefulness, this thought will take a minute or two to dawn on us. Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful. Which is to say, beauty is in and of itself a great and glorious good, something we need in large and daily doses (for our God has seen fit to arrange for this). Nature at the height of its glory shouts, Beauty is essential! revealing that Beauty is the essence of God. The whole world is full of his glory.