I walked into a farm store today to buy lettuce. The entirety of summer growth was stacked plentifully across the wooden tables. Why, I wondered, is it that the season seems to come into completed and near perfection right at the end? Why do we realize what we have, often only near the end of the season?
We take for granted what we have much of, while we have it. Even time, although we know it passes quickly, sometimes stretches out ahead of us, like a desert, for as far as our mind can comprehend. When something is about to slip from our grasp, from our view, we sip in the last dregs, slowly yet furiously, refusing to acknowledge that we may have squandered our bounty.
But even though we meander through life, trying to sip and savor and seek and find, sometimes perfection is an exacting muse, beauty is an illusive sprite. We chase and watch, but often the true desire of beautiful perfection, beautiful completeness, is to make your breath catch in your throat a little bit, to make your heart hurt just slightly, deep down knowing that the placid perfection of a moment does not last. Every now and then, we catch a moment, a morning stream of light, an afternoon at the beach, an evening where all is calm. A portal into a perfect world breaks into our view.
Sometimes the most painfully beautiful part of the summer is the end. It is painful because warmth and green and growing life cannot linger on forever. But the excruciating draw of these long sunsets and golden days is the hanging on, savoring, inhaling, trying to capture time that slips away like sand washed back in a diamond studded wave. Gorgeous tension stands overtly before us. The glorious summer, the winding toward the end of summer. The beauty of life, the ephemeral nature of beauty, perfectly complete contrasts with the ever changing messes of humanity. The world is held at bay by a few minutes of perfection.
What we really know is that in the middle of this broken universe, there is a promise of beauty, a hope of eternal glory, of complete perfection through the cross of Christ. There is a beautiful resurrection behind a broken veil. There is a something greater than the broken, a Father who will fix all things. There is more to existence than the mundane, because through a perfect and beautiful Creator, all things consist. There are a thousand little moments that are held together by Him. Every now and then, one perfect moment captures our hearts. It makes us look twice. We find that portal into the world of the beautiful. And without trying, God’s beauty comes and compels us to watch the enchanted sunset on a summer night. Perfection taunts us like the clear, still water surrounding us. And having seen these moments we are richer. We are equipped to savor the moments, to seek for beauty, and to head into a thousand other sunsets.