The weather in Chicago has been cold and gloomy, with the sun only graciously popping out every every few days or so.
The colorless, dirty white skies and biting winds, so characteristic of the Windy City in February, have caused me to wistfully remember the time I spent on the beach this past November.
It’s a Thursday today. I saw the sunrise this morning, something that has become a more normal part of my routine over the past year.
The sun was piercing and glaring this morning as I flung the sun shield down in my Jeep and fumbled around to quickly throw sunglasses onto my face.
But even so, there was something inside of me that leapt at the sight of the sun. Something innate within me that said, “THAT is extraordinary.”
And I know I’m not the only one.
There was another Thursday when I was struck with the majesty and grandeur of the handiwork of our Creator and I wasn’t alone in my awe.
I wandered down the boardwalk on that Thursday evening to watch yet another sunset on the serene, golden beach. I walked up to the shore, drawn in by the gentle lap, lap, lap of the waves rushing ever closer, but always retreating just before reaching me.
I sat among children playing gleefully in the sand, grandparents strolling hand in hand, teens splashing and spraying each other in the salt water.
As the sun dropped lower and lower in the sky, new colors emerged in every direction. Purple and orange and fuchsia and crimson whipped across the sky as though a whimsical five year old had painted it with their fingers.
Suddenly, the beach grew quiet as a sense of awe and reverence spread over us all.
The sun touched the horizon and quickly was going, going, going….then gone.
But it was what happened next that delighted me most.
Slowly, a roar of applause emerged from the people all around me.
There they sat, heads towards the sky, eyes fixed on the horizon.
The only thing they were looking at was the art of their Creator. And without knowing it, that innate awe of what God has made took over and drove them to applause at the beauty, and magic, and creativity of a Divine Being they may or may not even believe in.
I just love that part of God.
He didn’t have to give us that innate desire. He did’t have to display His creativity for us to marvel at. He didn’t have to create us to stand in awe at the rest of His creation.
But He did.
I love that humanity looks at mountains and our jaws drop.
I love that people will travel miles and miles and miles to stare at an ocean designed by our Divine Designer.
I love that individuals will go to great lengths to find the best views of white beaches, and blue mountain ranges, and tropical rain forests, and exotic waterfalls-the handiwork of a Creator who created these things for the crown of His creation-US.
In that moment, as the applause roared for something as simple, yet grand, as a sunset, it felt right.
It felt true.
It felt beautiful.
May we continue to stand in awe of a Creator who would create a world full of beauty, and adventure, and exploration, and magical moments.
And every time we encounter that beauty, let us be a generation that stands up and roars with applause.