We don’t really understand one another. In fact, we frequently don’t even understand ourselves. Over the weekend I got a glimpse of something that made me understand myself just a little better.
Seems like my preferences and opinions are usually at odds with most others’. Sci Fi and horror are huge genres with great popularity in today’s world, but I can’t stand either of them. Am I saying there is anything wrong with your enjoying these? No, just that I don’t.
Television has pushed the frontiers of sex and nudity to extremes we would never have even dreamed of back in the 50’s when I was growing up. While I have a normal male interest in the female form and such things, such television shows—and movies—are vaguely discomforting to me. When I watch a show or movie where a man and woman are hot and heavy with their kisses, I know where that would most likely lead in real life, but do I need to be shown the details on the screen? Can’t I be allowed to use my imagination?
Newspapers and magazines run ads for underwear, contraceptives, feminine hygiene products, male enhancement products for kids of all ages to see. Yes, I suppose these manufacturers need to advertize their products, but do we really need little kids seeing all these ads?
The oddity of my tastes doesn’t end there. Other people take vacations to go to cities they find interesting. I want to avoid cities on my way to remote mountains or maybe rugged coasts.
My wife Sharon—and most people I know—swoon at the sight of an old cathedral or museum. I want to get the heck outta there and go find some pretty scenery somewhere. Others enjoy seeing the Mona Lisa or the statue of David or other such art objects. I’d rather go to a Western art museum and see paintings of mountains or arroyos.
The other day, Sharon sent me an email containing mixed photos of buildings and scenery, and I found myself skipping over the buildings and lingering on the outdoor scenes. As I was doing that, it finally dawned on me why. I don’t know if God revealed this to me or I just figured it out, but this is what I realized.
Before I state my realization, I want to say very strongly that it’s not my intent to condemn or disparage anyone else’s viewpoint or motivations. I’m merely stating what I learned about myself.
When I see a building, be it a glass and steel skyscraper or an ancient cathedral, I see something man-made, and admiring it feels like I would be glorifying its creator. When I see a mountain or a river or a gorge or other natural phenomenon, admiring it glorifies THE Creator. I think this is why my tastes in planning vacations or looking at photos run the way they do.
Let me repeat my assertion that this is only a realization about my own tastes and choices and not an aspersion cast at yours. If you love going somewhere like Paris or Montreal and gazing at old buildings, going inside cathedrals and staring at the artwork and architecture, more power to you. Sharon does, too, and I’m sure a lot more people would agree with you and her than with me.
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
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David, I wonder if the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s portrayal of God, man and creation could be beyond the list of what beautiful looks like. The Agony and the Ecstasy, a film, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II, was only a movie but it had two powerfully committed actors who, for me, gave a wonderful picture of the inner workings of man and God. It might not be beautiful to look at or watch in one sense, yet, in another, it is priceless in value!
Good point, David. Thanks for your comment.
I know you love the beauty of nature, David. So do I. I also appreciate Sharon’s and Rhonda’s comments about the beauty that humans have created using our God given talents. Some music is so beautiful that I believe God gave it to a human to compose.
I’m sure you’re right, Sis. Just trying to explain me to me.
Your words gave me shivers David! I am an eye candy person and love appreciate beauty everywhere. You may enjoy Stumbling photography. There are some amazing images!!
Thanks, Susie. I haven’t really figured out what to do with Stumbleupon yet, but I keep trying.
I too see the beauty in nature and think of God when admiring it. It’s one of the many things that confirms my belief in Him. But, I also think God gives man talent and that He would like for us to be rewarded by being able to take in the beauty of man-made works as well. I certainly believe my talent was God-given as was yours. 🙂 I think we all have a natural inclination to like certain things more so than others. It keeps life interesting. 🙂
Thanks, Rhonda. Wise comments.
While I can appreciate your viewpoint, I love both nature and man’s creations. I believe that God created man, so why wouldn’t He appreciate many of man’s works – especially those that honor Him?
You’re right, Sharon. I don’t think I stated my point very well. As I said, just talking – primarily to myself – about my own motivations. No implications intended regarding anyone else’s.