The wildflower super bloom may be the SOCAL hype of the year. With billions of brightly colored orange poppies dominating the landscape; observers from near and far journeyed to catch a glimpse of the splendid display. Apparently, this is the largest bloom in half a century. Imagine, tens of thousands of people swarming to various locations, most of which are small towns, ill-equipped to handle the influx. This caused chaos, traffic jams for miles, and frustration for residents in those areas.
I never expected to see what I saw, but the mountain appeared to be on fire with vibrant color. The beauty of these flowers was so compelling that a satellite was directed to take this photograph from space of the area we visited, Walker Canyon. This is only one example of the infinite ways the Lord chooses to radiate His glory through His creation. I cannot begin to describe the scenery well enough, nor do I think any photo does justice to the breathtaking beauty that I experienced that afternoon. I will say, the hours that crawled by while sitting in traffic were worth it in the end.
I mentioned a bit of the chaos earlier but I didn’t tell you that the weekend we visited the super bloom at Walker Canyon, so did 50,000 of our closest friends! Yes, 50 thousand people showed up to take their Instagram selfies and hashtag their hearts out, myself included. As you can imagine, it was quite difficult to get a photo without a few photo bombs here and there. Not to mention limitations on where you could go, the hills were covered with walking trails but they only got you so far.
This experience had me thinking, “Isn’t it amazing that we will drop what we are doing and flock to something temporarily and tangibly beautiful?” We see beauty in God’s creation and we marvel in awe, yet the things we find so satisfying are fleeting. Take the wildflowers for instance, Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” and so we understand creation has its season, yet it will not last. In contrast, God’s word does last, it lasts for all eternity. How often do we marvel at that? How often does His Truth move us to drop what we are doing and stand in awe? His beauty, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness surrounds His children every day. The character of God is on display for our enjoyment and His glory, yet we simply pass it by, snap a picture of it, overlooking eternity for temporal fleeting moments.
Although God’s creation is a magnificent display of His existence and glory, much of the world foolishly worships creation instead of the Creator. Romans 1:25 affirms this, “Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” Here is a recent example of how this has taken shape in our society today; one of my besties posted a photo of herself sitting among the wildflowers, and several self-proclaimed ‘flower worshiping’ activists were furious over the assumption that my friend may have crushed the flowers when she sat down. One activist commented, “If the flowers go then the bees go and if the bees go then we go.” I’m pretty sure that was a quote in The Bee Movie. This is a perfect example of how we worship and serve the creature, rather than the Creator.
Creation, in its entirety, is undeniably beautiful; it should be marveled at, cared for, and respected by all because it is a wondrous display of the Father’s beauty, His glory, and His faithfulness. Luke 12:25-28 says, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do a small thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon is all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” In this passage we see Mighty hand of God over all creation, He sovereignly gives life, providentially provides, and in His perfect timing takes away. His word should be the truth that assists our understanding in all things, including flowers and bees; after all He created them, sustains them, and they exist for His purpose.
Please don’t misunderstand me and conclude I am suggesting we sit back and care for nothing, or foster a lack of respect for creation; as I previously said, “it should be cared for and respected by all.” In fact, creation is the very thing that Adam was given to rule over in the beginning. In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God made people in His likeness and lovingly gave them responsibility, purpose, and order. Dominion was given to man over the rest of creation, including, but not limited to the “creeping things” that have become the objects of worship for many. Along with the privilege man was assigned in God’s order of creation, he was also given the responsibility to care for it. There is a healthy balance we must discern here, all of creation is important to God, even the flowers and the bees; we must appreciate them in the right order, they should never become an object of worship, nor should they create such anxieties in us that we assume we cannot live without them. There is in fact only one that we cannot live without, we would not have life or breath or anything without God. (Acts 17:25)
With that said, let’s be proactive in our “drop everything moments” seeking out time to pause, stand in awe, and get to know the One who created us. More important than finding delight in creation, is knowing and finding delight in our Creator. Matthew 6:33 describes the proper order of priorities,
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
When we look to Jesus, the anxieties of this life will grow dim in comparison because we will find peace and comfort knowing that God is in control. The apostle Paul puts it this way, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6) Moreover, Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” When we look to Jesus, we will stand in awe of all that He accomplished for us and rejoice.
May we be found to be people who set their minds on things above (Colossians 3:2), rather than jumping from one temporary satisfaction to another. May we seek out that which is eternal with greater fervency than that which is temporal, like the beautiful flowers in the field. May His beauty, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness, and His truth be the thing that we enjoy most; for our good and His glory.