This weekend I was in Phoenix, Arizona to receive my Doctor of Divinity. From my home on the California shoreline to Phoenix I had to cross hundreds of miles of “barren desert.” How easy it is to overlook the beauty of that barrenness, that nothingness.
On first glance it is easy to miss the power of this nothingness, easy to overlook the evidence of long-ago volcanic activity, easy to overlook the wonder of plant life which not only survives, but thrives with little or no rain, easy to forget that just beyond our casual glance lies life perfectly adapted to its environment. In overlooking all these things we deprive ourselves of beauty.
So it is as we look at each other. We look for certain things to the exclusion of even more important and beautiful understandings. Each and every person has a truck-load of stories and experiences, if we take the time to look and listen. So much is lost as we blind ourselves to the perfection all around us. I was recently reminded that the world is filled with perfection masquerading as imperfection.
The next time you find yourself around people, or traveling through, or above a place and think there is nothing there for you, take a moment and as yourself; am I missing the beauty of nothingness?