Who Do You Thank

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The Hidden World of National Parks

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Click on the picture or link above for a cool website. I have been thinking about natural beauty recently as there has been a lot of information on our news feeds about the 100 year anniversary of the national park system. And a few nights ago as I was laying in the call room in the hospital, it dawned on me that natural beauty is evidence for a creator. This is not a new thought in the world. In fact the Bible says the same. But for some reason it was made very real and personal to me in that moment. We live in a world that is completely familiar. So why does it inspire us? Why do we respond to it? It brings atheists and believers equally to its edge where we admire it. As I lay there I wondered how does someone who does not believe in God respond to the natural beauty he sees around him.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

This question of appreciation was what I could not sort out. Whom do you thank for the gift of what you see in front of you when you are standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon? To whom do you give praise for the Grand Tetons? As a Christian, I say “Wow!” and I thank and praise God, the artist behind what I see. And I appreciate in all the fullness of knowing as much as one can about who, what, why, and how. If you do not have faith do you just say “That’s cool!” What sort of existential experience do you have without there being a mind behind it all? When I am in a national park and see the beauty, my heart and mind immediately thank God for what he is allowing me to see and for him making it. It puts a meaning behind my appreciation. And I thank God for that too. To me the appreciation of beauty is evidence of God.

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