Monday, September 29, 2008

The Beauty

I was just sitting outside at a local Starbucks, catching up on some reading, when a car drove by. Out came the shout, “You’re all a bunch of slaves.” Now, I’m guessing he thought everyone that hangs out at Starbucks is addicted not just to their coffee, but the atmosphere that it creates. His assumption is, that we worship this environment, therefore we are slaves to it. And I’m sure he thought he was not a slave to anything. He is above that.

I really wish he could have stopped, because I would have loved to have a conversation with him. I would ask him ,“Do you really think you’re not a slave to anything?” The truth is, he’s on to something. What we worship, what consumes us, does enslave us. But, the problem is, he probably thinks he is not controlled by anything that way. But that is lie. And I can say that with full confidence though I have no idea who he is.

Whether it’s hipster non-conformity, punk rock defiance, or any other independent feeling, that in itself can be, and will be worshipped. We’re all worshipping something: wealth, fame, recognition, intellect, sports, jobs, family, relationships, moral purity, etc. The key is to acknowledge whatever “that” is and ask the question, “Is it worthy of all my affection?”

Ironically, at the moment of the outburst, I was reading a paragraph by Plotinus about beauty. He says that there is the “good” that every soul desires. And he says that it is beautiful. Though, I don’t think he was trying to talk about God, he ends up describing what happens when you encounter Him, the greatest beauty that’s ever existed. Check it out:
“ sees with one’s self alone That alone, simple, single and pure, from which all depends and to which all look and are and live and think for it is the cause of life and mind and being. If anyone sees it, what passion will he feel, what longing in his desire to be united with it, what a shock of delight! The man who has not seen it may desire it as good, but he who has seen it glories in its beauty and is full of wonder and delight, enduring a shock which causes no hurt, loving with true passion and piercing longing; he laughs at all other loves and despises what he thought beautiful before...If then one sees That which provides for all and remains by itself and gives to all but receives nothing into itself, if he abides in the contemplation of this kind of beauty and rejoices in being made like it, how can he need any other beauty?”
"For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary." (Psalm 96:5-6) "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:34)


  1. David, thanks for another insightful blog that lets me sit back and reflect on God's beauty!

  2. Plotinus? You continue to impress me. (But don't worship that.)

  3. agree with arnold. like the post.