A Wonderful World

Byron LeavittDarkness, Light, Wonder, Worldview Leave a Comment

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how beautiful the world around us is.

In fact, many of us have.

We are often so consumed with hate one for another, or fear for the future, or stress about work and family and life.  We are so overwhelmed with the tragic, grungy particulars screaming for our attention that we completely miss the gorgeous, quiet elephant in the middle of the room.

How is it that amidst all the bright sparks one dark incident can ruin a day?  How is it that one heated conversation can burn a whole week? Or a whole friendship?

We drive down the road, and as we go the traffic grinds to a dead halt.  Twenty minutes later we see why we have been driving so intolerably slowly: there has been a car accident, and everyone has been stopping to look at it.  We are drawn to the tragic and the outrageous and the macabre.  It’s like we crave it.  And I’m not talking about horror movies or “The Walking Dead”: I’m talking about the nightly news.  I’m talking about talk radio.  I’m talking about what’s trending on Facebook and Twitter.  I’m talking about car accidents on the freeway.

It can be so easy to be consumed by the latest horrible headline.  To be overwhelmed by the evils men do, whether to the world or to each other.  To completely miss the fabulous, awesome truth.

We live in a wonderful world.

When God created the universe with a singular, exultant bang, when He split the light and matter and fashioned stars and supernovae and spun out galaxies, He said that it was good.  When He finally created a rocky planet and filled it with water and dry land and life, He said that it was good.  When He created us, He said that we were good.

That is as true today as it was all those many, many years ago.

Has evil insinuated and corrupted and ravaged?  Yes.  Absolutely.  But that doesn’t have to be what we see.  We can choose to see something else.  We can choose to see something greater, deeper and truer.  And furthermore, we can help that Best to conquer.

In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus says that we should pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (1)  So why are we always praying to leave this world when God wants His goodness, His love and His light to shine here on earth?  After all, what is His kingdom but utter paradise?  And He wants that paradise to blaze where all will see it.  One could call it a city on a hill, if one wanted to. (2)

Why spend so much time decrying the world when we can spend that time fighting and working and praying to make it better?  We aren’t spending our time polishing the brass on a sinking ship (3): we are calling this world good along with its Creator.  We are flaunting God’s righteousness in the face of evil, and declaring that hate and corruption and vileness will not win the day.  All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing. (4)

There is hope in this good creation.  There are glimmers of Heaven all around us, and we can see it every day if we look.  But first we need to change our perspective.  And we need to see the good.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.” (5)

“I see trees of green,
Red roses too.
I see them bloom
For me and you.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.
. . .
The colors of the rainbow,
So pretty in the sky,
Are also on the faces
Of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands,
Saying how do you do.
They’re really saying,
“I love you.”
. . .
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.
I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.” (6)


  1. Matthew 6:10
  2. Matthew 5:14
  3. Quote by J. Vernon McGee
  4. Paraphrased from a quote by Edmund Burke
  5. Psalms 42:11
  6. Thiele, Bob & Weiss, George David; “What a Wonderful World”; 1967. (First recorded by Louis Armstrong; “What a Wonderful World”, ABC 10982, HMV; 1967.)

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