On the western edge of the Lockyer Valley, the Toowoomba Range stands as a silent sentinel. Throughout the day, the hills reflect different hues from the sun. It is an amazing thing to see them redirected from the early morning greens to the afternoon browns and then the lavender that springs across the ridges in the evening.
And after the sun has safely been tucked in behind the hills, the stars appear in the sky, a dozen at a time. It’s as though God has thrown glittering gems across the black blanket of the heavens, one handful at a time. When I stare up into the sparkling darkness I sometimes wonder how it all came to be …
So often, as I watch the Southern Cross flail like a wind-whipped kite across the celestial sphere, I think that the beauty of creation reminds me of who God is—the Creator, the Artist—but one evening, as Venus made her inevitable appearance on the horizon, the focus of my thought process changed.
I no longer wanted the creation to remind me that there is a God. I wanted God to remind me that there is a creation.
What I mean is that far too often I neglect the gift of the beauty of where I live: the Lockyer Valley, with its emerald rolling hills full of growing produce and the immensity of the early morning sky, lit up by the lemon-drop sunrise. I want God to continue to remind me to put down my phone, shut off my iPod and open the front door to behold the blessing of the creation.
The psalmist reminds us that we are given the opportunity to appreciate all the glory of God’s hands in creation, because it will not last.
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end (Psalm 102:25–27).
This is the beauty of Australia that I never expected when I first moved here. Perhaps it is the expectation of many Americans (brought about by slanted media) that we would see kangaroos bounding through city streets and reckless surfers grabbing the dorsal fins of sharks to propel them over the waves. But many days I am incredulous at the garment of creation and the clothing of heavens, here in Australia.
Thank you, God, for reminding me that there is a creation.
Reid Matthias is school pastor at Faith Lutheran College, Plainland, Queensland.