Exquisite Life

Alice Cheung

Exquisite things are pleasing to the eyes, due to their ingenuity, unique craft, and flawless beauty. You will find your life full of beautiful things if you make use of your discerning eyes.

Why do we get stuck with a life of tedious hard work and emotional imbalance? The pursuit of beauty is the desire of humanity. Indeed the pursuit of an exquisite life helps you rediscover the beauty of life.

The Exquisite Material Life

Materials not only nourish our health but also bring pleasure to our eyes, ears, and hearts. Those who know how to enjoy life will have an exquisite heart that turns decadence into a miracle. They can find beauty, fun, and value in simple daily life such as a frown or smile, a simple meal, a piece of brick, a piece of paper, and taking a breath. Exquisite living does not require high prices, large quantity, and complexity. Instead, it is aesthetic and functional, elegant and decent, balanced and matched. Creativity and dedication brings joy to yourself and others. It is not bound by human desires but allows us to organize, sharpen our sight, and feel comfortable.

The Exquisite Mental Life

Exquisite life is an attitude of life. When someone loves exquisiteness, he is able to appreciate nature, to make use of creativity, to develop interests, and to get involved with life. He is able to show appreciation for the poetic aspects of life while he enjoys the reality of everyday needs. For example, the famous classic Chinese poet, Du Fu (712-770), during his time of distress and his residence in a lowly hut, wrote the following poem, “The Riverside Village”:

The winding clear river around the village flows;
We pass the long summer by the riverside with ease.
The swallow freely comes in and freely out goes;
The gulls on water snuggle each other as they please.
My wife draws lines on paper to make a chessboard;
My son knocks a needle into a fishing hook.
Friends provide daily bread as my reward.
What else do I want for myself in my humble nook?

This poem was a true reflection of Du Fu’s gratitude and tranquility despite his lack of material in life. He used his heart to experience life.

The Exquisite Relationship

I heard that there are three ways to identify individuals in an African tribe: landscapes, tools, and people. It’s hard to believe that others might view you as part of a setting that serves as a foil for them or a tool to be “used”. This school of humanity only ends up with selfishness, indifference, and utilitarianism. So who am I without all other people? Do I need to be connected with others in order to have a role, relationship, sense of belonging, and experience in life? Why don’t we focus on the good side and ability of others? Let our love, kindness, gratitude, and apology naturally flow out of our lives. Our genuine words of gentleness, friendly company, happy celebration, and heartfelt gifts will be the exquisite moisturizers and patches for others.

The Exquisite Life Project

The development of our civilization actually comes from nature, its natural resources, inspiration, and law. This awesome nature is the exquisite masterpiece of our Creator whose hands distinctively place each star on the sky and each grain of sand on the shoreline. Wouldn’t you be amazed at the beauty of each snowflake and grain of sand if you could observe them through a precise microscope? Wow! Each snowflake has an exquisite pattern with crystal-like and parallel structure. Sand is made of fragments of minerals and rocks which have been crystallized through the weathering process. At the end, each grain of sand displays an exquisite structure and wonderful colors like a gem. Even an insignificant snowflake or grain of sand that has no life has been carefully designed by the Creator. What about the life of a human being? Don’t you know that you have been uniquely designed by God? This great potter will continue this life project in your life.

Here are some quotable lines of ‘To See a World in a Grain of Sand’ from the collection of “Auguries of Innocence” by William Blake (1757-1827):

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

An exquisite life comes from God. The Bible says: “wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” The metamorphosis of an exquisite life starts when you are born again in Christ who says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

閱讀中文版 Read Chinese Version

(Author’s credentials: Bachelor at Overseas Theological Seminary, Master of Pastoral Counseling at Chinese Mission Seminary, Former minister at Hong Kong Christ Evangelical Church and Hiulai Church)

You may also like...