I love the city of Wilmington, NC. It’s a picturesque setting that has been the backdrop for numerous motion pictures and television shows. I was there recently and took this photo in Hugh McRae Park. It looks like something out of a painting by Claude Monet.
This photograph reminds me that God created a wonderful world for us to live in. Ironically, Hugh McRae Park was made by man. This beautiful bridge, lake, and water fountain were all constructed by humans who added value to God’s existing creation. I am reminded that we are all created to add value to the world we live in.
Scripture tells us in the book of Genesis that when God made the world, He created a beautiful paradise with amazing natural resources. And at the pinnacle of His creation, mankind was formed and given the awesome responsibility to inhabit and look after the Earth.
Do you ever stop to think about just how beautiful the world is? I have to admit, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to do so. Every time I turn on the television, check my email, or surf the web, I’m inundated with all the bad things that are happening on our planet.
In the US alone, the government is failing, the economy is a mess, and people are consumed with consumerism. Around the globe we’ve got hungry children, incurable disease, racial and ethnic cleansing, global warming, and so many other alarming issues in need of immediate attention.
With everything that’s wrong in the world today, it’s easy to forget what’s right. For instance: Did you know that with the help of the ONE Campaign and musical artists like Bono, we are starting to make a dent in Africa’s hunger problem? Are you aware that both China and Korea are experiencing revival of phenomenal proportion; more than any other countries in the world? And did you know that recycling is at an all time high as people everywhere are “Going Green”? Yes, we have a long way to go, but there are some great things happening in our world right now.
John Milton once said, “The mind is it’s own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven out of Hell, and a Hell out of Heaven.” Maybe what you and I need to do is change our mind; get a new perspective on the world we live in.
1n 1968, Bob Thiele and George David Weiss wrote a song for Louis Armstrong entitled, “What A Wonderful World.” I smile every time I hear that song. Take a look at the lyrics:
“I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom for me and you, And I think to myself, what a wonderful world, I see skies of blue and clouds of white, The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night, And I think to myself, what a wonderful world, The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, Are also on the faces of people going by, I see friends shakin’ hands, sayin’, “How do you do?”, They’re really saying, “I love you”, I hear babies cryin’, I watch them grow, They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know, And I think to myself, what a wonderful world, Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world, Oh yeah.”
Louis Armstrong’s song paints such a beautiful picture of the world. Even though the song itself is more than 40 years old, it’s still extremely relevant for today’s culture. “What A Wonderful World” was released in a very politically and racially charged period in history. Its positive message still serves as an inspiration for us all to “reframe” the world we live in.
In his book, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, Mark Batterson describes “the art of reframing.” Batterson says, “Maybe our problem isn’t our circumstances, maybe it’s our perspective…” There’s no doubt we are facing bad circumstances in today’s world. But we must remember God can use them for good.
Batterson also says, “Sometimes the biggest problems present the greatest opportunities for God to reveal His Glory and work His purposes.” If Batterson is correct, and I believe that he is, we have to back up and look at the bigger picture in order to gain a new perspective.
I spent over a decade of my life working in an art gallery. We not only sold art, but framed and installed it as well. As a picture framer, I was often entrusted with valuable pieces of artwork. Sometimes our patrons wanted their pictures “reframed”. It’s amazing how much better a piece of artwork looks once it has been freshened up by the art of reframing.
So, how do you and I reframe our own perspective? We must back up a few steps and look at the bigger picture. When’s the last time you admired God’s beautiful creation? How long has it been since you looked up at the big blue sky and were left speechless?
When’s the last time you went out after a rainstorm and appreciated all the different colors of a rainbow? Try catching a sunrise or a sunset. Let your breath be taken away by the majesty and beauty of God’s heavenly color pallet.
Have you ever walked down the street and admired all of the different types people God created; no two alike…? Take a moment to admire God’s creation and think to yourself, “What A Wonderful World.”