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Nature & Beauty – Building Your Wisdom Pyramid – Part 3

I originally wrote this for the wonderful change agents at Evangelicals for Social Action to kick off the new year in January, 2018. Because I’m still working to flip my pyramid many months later at the beginning of the new school year, I’m posting it here and linking back to the originals. Current events will always require rigorous thought, reflection, and action. How can the Bible, church, nature & beauty, the internet, and social media help and/or hurt us? Please join me in the struggle to find true wisdom.

wisdom pyramid

©Brett McCracken

Part Three

Nature and Beauty

Our collective response to the August 2017 solar eclipse proves the power nature has to delight, humble, and unite us. When we soak in the transcendent beauty of a star, a planet, a mountain top, an ocean wave, or a newborn baby, we must acknowledge that we didn’t and couldn’t make those things happen. There is something much larger than us at work. In similar ways, the beauty in art and music can lure us toward something greater, capture our unspoken longings, and give us the opportunity to respond with our hearts.

IMG-7329

©Brett McCracken

Questions:

  1. What wisdom have you learned from nature? The power of light over darkness during the eclipse? The hope of new life when bulbs begin to bloom? The necessary deaths every autumn? The patience of slow erosion? When is the last time you went for a walk?
  2. Brett McCracken quotes a headline from the L.A. Times“We may live in a post-truth era, but nature does not.” Do you agree with this statement? How would you explain it?
  3. What art or music has shaped your soul? How many soul-shaping pieces are from your own culture, and how many from other cultures? Do you look for wisdom when you turn on Spotify, watch movies, or go to museums? What does that wisdom look like?
  4. How does your church incorporate nature and beauty into her existence? Does your church have windows? Does it use the arts to convey Biblical truths?

Next Steps:

  1. Write out a moment you’ve experienced in nature and ask the question, “God, what are you teaching me here about yourself?”
  2. Reflect on your favorite human-made and God-made creations. What kind of wisdom is shown in each? How does the contrast make you feel about power, death, ambition, and peace?
  3. Are you active in caring for creation? Does your church act responsibly in terms of building practices, recycling, and her electric bill?

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about finding wisdom in books. Until then, make time today to look for God’s fingerprints all throughout creation.

Wisdom Pyramid

©Brett McCracken

***********

My previous posts for ESA:

  • Heroes or Neighbors? –  “So what does this have to do with refugees?” I asked my kids at breakfast. “I don’t know. Maybe the naked part?” my son offered. “He’s naked? That’s what ‘stripped him…”
  • Sign of the Times – “I think I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think we should do this.” I bit my lip and put my hands in my pockets. “Don’t be nervous. Be proud. This is…”
  • 2018: Building Your Wisdom Pyramid – “I’m not thinking of what my mind and soul need—I’m thinking of what feels good. But instead of dismissing this pyramid as being too aspirational, let’s wrestle…”
  • Building Your Wisdom Pyramid: The Church – “In the best version of our world, the church is where we learn how to put the wisdom we glean from the Bible into action. No church is perfect, but…”

©Aimee Fritz & Family Compassion Focus, 2018.

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