I kept a rigid running clock of how many minutes I spent putting on makeup, listening to music, and scrolling through social media — hyperaware of each nanosecond I neglected to fill with prayer, Bible reading, or everything “Christian.”
As an impressionable, perfection-driven teenage girl living with undiagnosed Intrusive Thought Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, my soul caved on itself the moment my Sunday School teacher made a bold, brass statement:
“If you spend more time putting on your makeup than reading your Bible, that’s a sin.”
I spent eight hours at school, three hours studying, two hours at volleyball practice, and one hour crying because I knew I’d have another eight hours of school the next day. A two-minute devotion was often the best I could do.
Following my Sunday School teacher’s agonizing statement, I assumed I was idolatrous — doomed to a merciless schedule that could never prioritize religious activities over academics, athletics, travel. . .anything. Even worse? My obsessive brain relentlessly fought the gnawing notion that I didn’t want to spend eight hours a day reading my Bible, praying, or discussing theology.
A decade later, as a grown woman, I continued to quietly struggle with the lie that I was never giving God enough of my time, that I was always choosing errands or coffee breaks over my Savior. All those years hadn’t yet granted me wisdom on how to divvy my time so God could take top priority. Believing this lie, in turn, left me confined to a devastating, monotonous routine of feeling like God was always frustrated with me.
But then, at age twenty-seven, I discovered a subtle but wonderful crack in my rigid concept of God. And I found it in a sunrise.
I’m a Georgia peach, born and raised, so most of my childhood sunrises were blocked by tall pine trees, their leafy green casting a merciful shadow on hot days. But after my husband’s job moved us to southern Colorado — a desert where no plant grows taller than a few feet — I had no choice but to notice the sun in all its morning glory.
Each morning as I walked my dogs, I was overwhelmed by the tender lavender hues that spilled over soft clouds. Light yellows, baby pinks, and creamy blues draped a waning, weary earth. Gleams of bright light danced off the white snow-capped mountains.
God is beautiful, I finally thought, unable to break away from the awe and wonder as He continued to grace mankind with another twenty-four hours of life and breath.
God is beautiful.
Beauty cannot be separated from God, which means the harmony of violin strings and drum beats speaks of God’s perfect timing. It means eye shadow and mascara showcase the baffling intricacies of the eye…which He created. It means the Great Commission can be graciously fulfilled by the click of a few buttons, hashtagging the Gospel across the world.
God doesn’t require us to log each day’s activities, demanding that our “solely religious” pursuits account for more hours than all other activities and responsibilities. That’s not to say we should ignore Bible studies, skip over praise music, or neglect church attendance. We aren’t given such a grace to spend it so frivolously. However, we are welcomed to see that God invites us to find Him all the days of our lives — all the hours, minutes, seconds, and bits in between.
We can invite Him to coffee, listen for Him on our playlists, or seek His wisdom as we craft stories, paint pictures, or hunt for a new puppy to adopt.
He longs for us to see Him in the sunrise, in soulful music, in the art of blush and lip balm, in the hearts of those who connect with one another through a worldwide internet that holds no candle to the phenomena of God Almighty’s Son. He craves our attention in simple, innocent, daily ways. We aren’t pressed to memorize each Gospel word-for-word, but we are encouraged to carry the Gospel’s power and love into not only chapels but nail salons, ice cream shops, and tattoo parlors.
We are to find God’s beauty, no matter what we say or do, no matter where we go, and no matter the company we’re surrounded by. It’s there; it might be subtle, but it’s certainly not hiding. And as we notice His fingerprints dancing across all things pure, lovely, and righteous, our greatest calling is to whisper to others, “God is beautiful.”Leave a Comment