The Beautiful & the Real

“Let this Lent dismantle everything that isn’t about eternal things.”

This week I read these words, and my spirit echoed yes. These are the words I am grasping for in an unexpected and difficult season of life.

Ever since we made the decision to postpone our trip to Europe, my prayer has been for this season to make me a more beautiful person. It sounds a bit strange to say it out loud, but I have always been strongly motivated by beauty. And that’s exactly what I found last time we were in Amsterdam–a beautiful city, beautiful people, and a beautiful glimpse into God’s redemption amidst brokenness. So as I imagined what I would miss most about cancelling our trip, I thought of the relationships with students & opportunities to serve. But I also thought, I’ll miss getting to see all the beauty. 

This week I really needed the reminder of words like these:

The most fulfilling lives seek out the meaningful — more than the beautiful. Meaningful over beautiful. 

The most fulfilling lives actually see the meaningfulas the most beautiful.

Any craving for the beautiful — is really a craving for Jesus.

Recently I finished reading The Lucky Few, a story of one family who chose to say “yes” to hard things, things most of us would struggle to accept and would hardly ever choose. In the book, the author talks about what they would have missed out on, had they been looking only for lives that were easy, comfortable, or beautiful. I was struck again by how quickly we see difficulty as misfortune, a barrier to our best life instead of a mysterious new gateway into it.

This Lent, this season of dismantling and giving up and letting go, is a picture of the Death that must precede the Resurrection, the most beautiful reality of all. And I pray that it will teach me what it means to embrace each day with arms wide open, welcoming the beauty in unexpected places. May it teach me to look for the meaning and find beauty there.

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