reflections: Beauty, Potential, and Worth
The alluring quality of beauty captures the imagination, pulls us in, overwhelms our sensitivities, and satisfies our longing. Potential points to higher levels of attainment which could be realized, but potential alone doesn’t override our delimiting choices or experience. Worth expresses our intrinsic value aside from beauty or potential. You have beauty, potential, and worth.
The cliche “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” points to beauty as intrinsically relative, and at the same time, interpretive. Beauty is at once objective, and subjective. The beholder posits an interpretive position from outside of the object of beauty itself.
Certainly beauty tends toward the attractive, and while we probably all have an attractive ideal, whether in landscape, architecture or art, beauty as it relates humanity is more than just attractiveness. Beauty is not only the bright spot in the eye of the beholder, but also in the one beholden. Beauty is demonstrated through intelligence and personality. Beauty becomes character and behavior – how one reacts and relates to others in the environment in which we find ourselves. You are beautiful and the result is attractiveness.
Beauty is also potential. You have infinite potential and worth. Potential is the measure of one’s journey, inclining as it is toward enlightenment, or darkness. Potential is a scale which can be tipped in either direction. Potential won’t override inherited tendency, personal choices, or habitual patterns. Potential leads us ever on a path in one direction or the other, at times vacillating in intention to either direction. You have infinite potential to beauty of character and progression in light. This is by design, rather than a “divine spark” as some have argued. Your potential has been built in. Your infinite worth is not reliant upon either your built in potential, nor your adapted beauty beyond attractiveness. Your infinite worth comes from outside of yourself.
Consider this similarity of simple creativity. Suppose you are crafting some cookies. Your potential of intelligence has selected the ingredients, kneaded in beauty, and shaped cookies onto a baking tray. Managing the potential has orchestrated the oven temperature for optimum beauty of flavor, texture, and taste. This all has great potential, but remains completely outside of the design and desire of the cookies themselves. You can only realize the potential by investing the cookies with time, energy, and careful attentiveness in baking them to perfection. The worth of the cookies is crafted into them by your creative skill and imaginative potential. Because you value your creation, the cookies have worth.
You not only have beauty beyond attractiveness, and potential to light and goodness of character, but you are valued from outside of yourself by a designer who has placed infinite worth upon you. Beyond the example of cookies, humans have the potential for beholding inside ourselves. Beside looking, one may not feel beautiful, or interpret their potential as being inclined toward excellent character. Perhaps you have been conditioned to feel worthless, or even been told so by someone. The evidence points to more than simple chance acting repeatedly upon matter, to a grand designer who organized you beautifully, placed great potential into the mix, and looks longingly with infinite worth to your experience. You are beautiful; you have infinite potential and worth, all given to you from outside of yourself. There is a designer who desires more than anything else to relate with you, and to build your character, enhance your potential toward light and abundance in living, and desires above all to gift you with a future and a hope – worth lasting beyond this reality to an afterlife of glory.
I invite you to consider the stories expressed by John in the first four chapters of the book bearing his name. Audio and electronic versions are available for your consideration free at biblegateway.com. Imagine the beauty, potential, and worth of a designer who is making more than cookies, and reflect on your life through the eyes which see your true beauty, potential, and infinite worth.
Barry St. Clair is a member of the Minot Ministerial Association, and resides in Surrey. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.