Do you know what you love? What brings you joy? What is it that you find beautiful?
I believe that we should live in a world in which we have the freedom to explore a great range of options until we realise what it is that we love. We should experience the wonderful things that life has to offer and say, "That's what I like," or, "I want to do that," but too often we are raised in either an absence of love or the presence of fear, so we do things in order to find love or avoid punishment.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to discover what it is that I love, because when I am with the people I love, or do the things am passionate about or simply appreciate the things I find beautiful, then I give all of myself and bring joy not only to my own soul but to others.
As humans we naturally seek beauty. We appreciate it, enjoy it, are amazed by it, and (when we put our minds to it) create it, because I believe we are designed to be creative (in many different ways) to make beautiful things. Of course to me, this beauty, whether created by me or someone else, should always direct me to give honour, not to the thing I find beautiful, or to myself or to anyone else, but to the one who made all things, including beauty, and did it without having anything to copy or draw inspiration from, but purely by expressing himself created what he found beautiful. This is God, who loved us so much that he sent a part of himself, his son, to perform the most beautiful act in history in the ugliest way, dying for all humanity on a cross and allowing us to live in freedom from death.
It is impossible to fully understand God or his actions, but I believe that he made me and that he loves what I love and that he loves what you love, and maybe if we piece together everything that everyone loves we will have a better understanding of this mysterious and beautiful God.
(My thanks to Paul Manwaring who put some of these thoughts, which I guess I have had for years but not been able to express, into words a few weeks back)