Hypnotic Lunch Break

(So I logged in to write this post, and noticed a comment awaiting moderation-- years ago I turned off automatic comments because of bots and loony tunes people. The comment was posted to a sermon on greed from a while ago. It said, in part, "Wow this is the most shocking blog I have seen on the Internet." Yeah. I don't think so. There may be some unorthodox posts, sermons, and movie reviews, but the most shocking blog on the Internet?? Not sure about that.)

I spent some time exploring today. The morning I explored various bike stores, shopping for a bike for Miles, who turns 9 next weekend-- time to leave the training wheels behind forever! I started at Academy, which was my first stop because it was open before 10:00. Then I drifted to Sun and Ski, then finally to the always glorious Richardson Bike Mart. Then I ventured across the street to Hypnotic Donuts, not for the sweet stuff but for their amazing chicken biscuit. I enjoyed it on a park bench looking out upon White Rock Lake. For photographic evidence, I snapped this shot:

Now, I know North Texas is going crazy about seeing the sun and feeling its warmth after several weeks of very cold, sometimes messy, weather. Personally, I am not ready for winter to leave, because I dread summer. And yes, I have lived 42 of my 43 years in Texas. That being said, today was a sunny, windy 70 degrees, and even I can rejoice in that.

But as I looked out onto this vista (my camera could not capture the whole panorama), I couldn't help to think of human ingenuity. You can see planes zooming overhead, skyscrapers peeking up over the horizon, and beautiful homes overlooking the lake. Heck even the lake itself was made by people. But as I thought about the architects and engineers who set all this into motion-- very grateful for their skill and ambition-- I immediately thought of the creative power of God. And Psalm 8 burst into my mind:

Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth! 
You have set your glory above the heavens. 
   Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
   to silence the enemy and the avenger. 
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
   the moon and the stars that you have established; 
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   mortals that you care for them? 
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
   and crowned them with glory and honour. 
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
   you have put all things under their feet, 
all sheep and oxen,
   and also the beasts of the field, 
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
   whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 
Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Now, you may say: wait a minute. You were just marveling at human engineering. Where does all this God stuff come from? Shouldn't you have been at least sitting at a natural lake before thinking such things? And away from the city? Sure. But this is where I live, and where does that human creativity come from? What inspires it? What is its origin? I believe, and my faith teaches, that it is in God, who creates out of love and for love. And this picture is a great example of humans using their dominion God gave us-- read the psalm again-- to create something peaceful and joyful, both for us, and for God.

But I went further. This was not an environmental experience.

I thought, as I walked about enjoying wind and birds and sunshine and the sound of waves and boats and airplanes and everything else: How am I embodying that love to/for the created order? What creative energy am I using? How am I exercising dominion for the betterment of my community? I'm no engineer or architect-- I can't build things or design things-- but I have other gifts that can bless and bring meaning and purpose. What specifically am I offering that may touch someone the way this little corner of White Rock blessed me?

I thought of Valentine's Day. Yesterday I gloated on Facebook & Twitter that I had made great personal strides this week, not speaking or posting anything negative about the Olympics or Valentine's Day-- two of my least favorite things (search the blog and I'm sure you'll find several posts on either subject since '06). Unlike more than a few others, I have not spent much time thinking or contemplating what to buy my spouse for Valentine's Day. In my mind, I am a pretty lousy husband if I need any commercial industry to remind me to honor and enjoy Christy. But since the day is supposed to be about love, and I was sitting and exploring evidence of God's love (the beautiful scenery around me; again, forged by human hands, but inspired by divine ones), I was reminded of my truest, best origins:

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; 
and that is what we are (1 John 3:1)

Then, this random quote from the all-time best romantic movie Moulin Rouge jumped into my brain: 
"Oh, yes, above all things I believe in love" (Ewan McGregor's character Christian). 
Wait a minute: his name is Christian??

This day is a difficult one for lots of folk. I respect that, and pray that you will find and enjoy healthy, life-affirming romantic relationships you are searching for. For all of us, married, dating, searching, or none of the above: May we all know that love which surpasses all love. Love that goes far beyond any romantic love we could ever imagine. Love that could never be captured by balloons or roses or anything on sale today and on clearance tomorrow. Remember this today and tomorrow and every day: We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). May we all embody, and share, that creative love in whatever relationship or career or attitude or even fleeting moment we fully live in today.