Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is God's Last Name Fibonacci?

I was talking with my friend Nancy last night and her friend Becky at an open house for a mutual friend who is starting a fab new couture coat business.

Turns out Becky is a pretty impressive woman and an interior designer to boot. I told her it's what I had really wanted to study when I finally went to college, but I had just come from three years with Youth With A Mission and knew I had a calling to be a missionary to countries behind the Iron Curtain. Russia, specifically.

My plan was to get my degree (Though I had never done well in school, my sweet father still had delusions of grandeur that I would somehow magically transform into a student--some dreams die hard.) and go back to the mission field.

To that end, I decided to get a degree in International Relations. I lasted one entire, agonizing semester until I realized that particular degree track required a bunch of boring political science classes. So I quickly scrapped that plan and decided to pursue a degree in French. Turns out that even though I had beautiful pronunciation, thanks to those early years in parochial school, I had no real aptitude for learning a foreign language.

So once again I changed my major to something I could use on the mission field. I decided to focus on philosophy and religion.

Deep sigh.

Let's just say it wasn't exactly the seminary experience I had envisioned. The philosophy classes were clinics on Humanism and the religion classes were apparently taught by the professors who had graduated with a degree in Philosophy.

The only thing I remember from it all is how difficult--nigh, almost impossible--it is to have a conversation without ever once using the word "I".

So reluctantly, and filled with the frivolousness of my choice, I moved on to my first love. Beauty, design, aesthetics.

If I'd had the courage to truly listen to my heart, I would have gleefully enrolled in the Interior Design program.

But I still had the notion I was going to go back to the mission field, and I just couldn't imagine Russians who had to stand in line for three hours for a bag of potatoes calling me to discuss window treatments and wall colors that worked in all kinds of lighting.

So I decided to get a degree in Graphic Art instead. I figured I could somehow use that skill set

And then I got pregnant.

So I got married. Because it seemed like doing the "right" thing after doing the wrong thing would somehow balance things out.

I'm sure God was impressed, but that will have to be an entirely different blog entry.

After Jordan was born I quit school altogether because it was too hard to juggle both our school schedules with the demands of a nursing baby and Jay's degree, since he would be supporting the family, seemed more important.

You are probably wondering what all of this has to do with my conversation with Nancy and Becky, so I'll tell you.

Turns out Becky had also had doubts about how relevant it was to decorate people's homes or offices. Surely there were more noble and important things she should be doing. Right?
But I don't think that way any more, and I'll tell you why.

Because of fibonacci.

Fibonacci, named after Leonardo Fibonacci, is the discovery of the design, order, beauty and symmetry in all of nature.

Fibonacci is the way God, the inventor of design, order, beauty and symmetry designed everything from honeycombs to pinecones to artichokes to fern leaves to sunflowers to the human body's cells to shells (The Nautilus being a famous case in point) to the spiral arms of certain galaxies to, well, you name it.

It's mathematical, it's precise and above all, it's beautiful. God created a beautiful universe full of beautiful things that reflect His infinite creativity, His love of beauty, His incredible sense of design, light, proportion and arrangement. Which makes Him the author and originator of interior design!

"The Fibonacci Sequence is most likely the most influential series of numbers in the world. This mathematical sequence (each being the sum of the two numbers before it) was discovered by Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa in the early 13th century. In his Book of Calculations, he outlined the 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc., as the 'golden' numbers found in geometry, art, anatomy, music, biology, botany and conchology."

So my thinking, as I was trying to share with Nancy and Becky, is that if God delights in beauty and aesthetics, and if we are created in the image of God, how much pleasure must He get out of us using the gifts and talents He has given us and reflect His nature in everything we touch?After all, even with the chaos and destruction that resulted from the fall of mankind we still live on a beautiful earth.

Isn't that something? That even with the subsequent judgment and consequences upon the earth we can still find beauty almost everywhere we look?

To be sure, heaven will be a beautiful place. The restored earth will once again be as beautiful and perfect a reflection of its Creator as was originally intended.

So why wouldn't God want us to try to create and experience as much beauty as we possibly can? Personally, so long as these things don't become idols, I think He delights in every single reflection of His multi-faceted Self we emulate.

It's very gratifying to know I can celebrate Him by simply painting my walls a beautiful color, or by spending time in a room that gives me pleasure, much as the universe gives God pleasure.
I am giving myself permission to let God's expressions flow through me in any and every way they can.

Because I want to reflect Him.

And He is beautiful.

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