Mykonos, Greece, is easily one of the most beautiful and picturesque islands in all of Greece.
In my recent journey to Greece and Turkey, I had the chance to visit Mykonos for the second time in my life, but the first time I visited in the evening.
I was enchanted by the beauty I discovered on a walking town tour and absolutely blown away by the spectacular sunset that evening.
The narrow streets of Mykonos are filled with shops, restaurants, and chapels as they twist and turn, revealing even more beauty after every bend. The town's sights, sounds, and smells filled me with wonder, and I did not want to leave.
Isn't it interesting how we often find ourselves overcome by the beauty in the world? Even the most jaded among us have moments when our breath is taken away when we encounter beauty.
With how the world seems right now, it's easy to forget its beauty.
And there is good reason to be distracted because today's news is full of violence, rage, and horror. It can often feel like there is nothing but ugliness around us. We soon find that our gaze falls downward as we do our best to measure our steps, to keep moving forward without looking around.
We are afraid of what we might see, which keeps us from looking for more than the ugliness.
But as I walked the lovely streets of Mykonos that night, I let all of those ugly visions go, and I let myself be taken away by the glorious cacophony of colors, the deepening red sky, the incredible white of the buildings, the beauty of softly lit alleys with charming storefronts.
I thanked God for creating such a beautiful place and for the inspiration that gave human beings a desire to fashion buildings that were pleasing to the eyes and create art that showcased the joy of the human spirit.
Three windmills are still used to grind wheat into flour at the top of a hill in Mykonos, overlooking the harbor. The great sails used to turn the windmills were furled, but that added to their grandeur.
As I walked up the hill, I saw the most incredible shades of blue, gold, and red from the setting sun, and even though I knew a photo wouldn't do it justice, I took some anyway.
As I look at one of those photos now, I find myself joyful and grateful that I got the chance to see such a thing. It speaks to me of a God who longs for us to delight in the beauty of God's world and one another.
I've included the photo below for you to see.
It also gives me hope that whatever tomorrow brings is uncertain, but the same God who paints the world with color, contrast, and wonderment will be there waiting for us, ready to point out all that is good, beautiful, and true when we get there.
May we be people who walk around gazing in wide wonder at the joy we find in the beauty of this world. May we find glimpses of eternity and a God who lovingly creates.
May these visions of loveliness give us the hope and joy to step forward into tomorrow without fear.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all now and forever. Amen.