A skilled artist or craftsman creates things that are not only functional, but beautiful. Here is a geologic map of the lower Mississippi River published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1944, and it is a work of art.
The map depicts changes in the meandering course of the Mississippi River over time. At present, the channel of the river is not allowed to change much. For the sake of river transportation, agriculture, and the communities along the river, the course of the river is stabilized by dredging and manmade levees. In the past, however, the path taken by the river changed often, sometimes dramatically. Since the late 1700s, these changes have been tracked by historical and surveying records. Changes prior to that time can be deduced through studies of aerial photography coupled with soil surveys.
Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.
–Proverbs 22:29 ESV
Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver–by any sort of workman or skilled designer.
–Exodus 35:30-36:1 ESV
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
–2 Timothy 1:6 ESV
What are your gifts? Are you using them well, for the blessing of others?
More detailed map from the same series (3.6 MB)
NASA Earth Observatory
Grace and Peace
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