Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beauty In A Groaning World

How could I reconcile such beauty with the reality of sin and a groaning world?
As sin barrels through the corridor of time brokeness and pain are the debris left behind it. There is no part of creation that can manage to escape the wake of sin ... not least the human heart. And as Paul so vividly describes the extent of our sin even the creation groans under the intolerable burden of decay that sin has placed it under. (Romans 8:22)

It was on the second day of the P314 (our backpacking trip that takes place in which we summit three 14K+ foot mountains) that we encountered our first major obstacle, New Army Pass. After this grueling pass we'd finish the day with our first peek climb up to the pinnacle of Mt. Langley. We woke up to a beautiful scene as the morning dawned on Long Lake at 1,140 feet in elevation and began our 3000 foot haul up the mountain.

Here's Some amazing professional quality pictures taken by Josh Tallman.
We crested new army pass and stopped for a well earned break. As I gazed back at the ever expanding vista that was opening up before us I saw the beauty that I was expecting but i noticed something else that caught my attention as well. That section of the Sierra Nevada Mountains has taken less care than its northern counterpart in masking the decay that characterizes its landscape. The mountains in that section, especially above the treeline, are unashamedly falling apart. The mountainsides are strewn with falling rock and dirt. If the granite had not been so hard beneath our feet over the preceeding few hours I could have deceived myself into thinking that I could sweep the stone I was looking at accross the valley away with my bare hand. It looked so fragile. The limbless enemy of time was indeed doing the very thing that I couldn't do with my bare hands.

I wonder what Paul would have said if he could have seen the picture I was now looking at. Like the former beauty queen reflecting on her previous glory now seperated from her by decades and a sagging waistline I could almost hear the mountains regretting the lost years. They seemed tired, weak and distressed. Sin has been having its way and the mountains are losing.

And yet it was beautiful, breathtaking, and majestic! Only a fool could look at the landscape and not stop short wondering how words could adequately describe it all.

How could I reconcile such beauty with the reality of sin and a groaning world?

Here are some snapshots a few of us took on the trip.
Then it struck me. Even at its zenith of power, sin could never be powerful enough to completely efface the glory of God revealed in the creation into which He has poured so much of Himself. The majestic and awe-inspiring artistry of our Triune God could never be completely undone even by the deep rebellion into which it has been cast by our sin.

God is too good, too true, and too beautiful for his image to be completely obscured by the counterfeit of sin. Even in this sin-stained world, and in spite of our self-centered rebellion God continues to give. And so we can continue to glorify him and to enjoy him even as the mountains crumble and find their final destiny at the bottom of the sea, because those rocks continue to cry out "holy, holy holy, is the Lord God almighty, who was and is and is to come." Thank God that He has given me eyes to see in part, what in time he will graciously allow me to see in full!

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