Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Exploring Beauty and Hunting Monsters

A lot of people book group tours.

They’re easy. Mostly fun. (Depending on who you have to travel with, I suppose.) They don’t require you to do much but follow.

And that’s not how we were meant to go through life. We were meant to go through life as monster-hunters or explorers and scientists, each traveling with either a personal sword or a personal telescope.


Maybe it’s because of social media and the Internet. Maybe it’s because of current events in a more interconnected world. Maybe things are just falling apart more quickly than I remember. Maybe it’s because I’m old and notice these things more acutely.

Yeah, let’s go with age.

But the brokenness of the world in which we live seems more pronounced than I remember.

Brokenness, injustice, and rampant “isms” become infuriating things. They leave me feeling like I just finished a race in last place, sweaty and out of breath.

Monster-hunters are fierce and bold with sinewy muscles and metallic wits. They call down evil and battle with it, overcoming fear and stepping into a cage of blood and mud and sweat. Monster-hunters look into the eyes of evil and listen to the roars of malice and take off their heads.

Some are great at this. And should be. The world is, indeed full of monsters. And the world needs monster-hunters.

But I’m bad at this. I’m not a monster-hunter. I used to think I could be. But I’m not. It’s not me. Thankfully, the world also needs explorers who will discover beauty.

While I despise the evil that doesn’t care about the carnage of humanity it leaves in its destructive path, I’m not sinewy. While fear doesn’t play into my decision-making anymore, weariness does. So I leave the monster hunting to people with more energy than me. And I support them 100%.

Because I’m finding that the world is filled with beauty, as well as monsters. Look for the beauty. See it. Discover a new place in your home town. Look for the quirks and peculiarities that make people amazing. Get off the interstate and find the abandoned places and the abandoned people that most have forgotten — and remember them. Honor them.

You’ll find other monster-hunters and explorers in the most unexpected places.

Thus, learn to worship again.

There must be more than outrage. Even though there’s a lot to be outraged about.

But, also, learn to look for the beauty.

Because it’s there, too.
Even if you hunt monsters. Especially if you hunt monsters.


The very worst thing you can do is go through life like a tourist.
No outrage.
No beauty.
No change.

Seeing some sites and move on to the next thing. Put your wallet in your front pocket and secure your backpack.

Follow the lady with the flag.

Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute?
— Annie Dillard