Balanced, orderly, organized, even – all words that could describe symmetric. We may think of kaleidoscopes or remember vaulted medieval chapel ceilings. Crystal structures like snowflakes and tiny cubic salt granules have their own symmetries, their own organized orders and designs. Some people (including me) especially enjoy finding balance and order in nature. Maybe it’s about trying to understand the whole by understanding the parts and how systems work together to fulfill purposes, even if those purposes are only beauty.
When we search for “symmetry” in our life experiences, we are also searching for how the individual parts fit together to give purpose or beauty. How do my experiences balance out? Where is the order, the design? Where is this going? Those questions often have elusive answers.
Adult coloring books have been found for many to be stress-relievers. The focus on creating balanced colorful beauty is evidently calming. If seeing physical symmetry brings peace (or settling) in our physical world experience, clarifying our understanding of physical relationships, supporting our need for order, the opposite is true in the spiritual realm.
Rather than symmetry bringing peace, here peace allows for symmetry. Properly placed and enduring faith gives an internalized peace that trusts God’s purposes rather than those we can perceive without Him. The peace of faith allows God to define the symmetry.
Proverbs 3:5,6 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (NASB)
And in Psalm 4:8 we read, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” (NASB)
Understanding God’s perfect purposes, His symmetry for our lives, the big picture and all its interrelationships, becomes secondary to the peaceful rest provided by trusting His goodness and faithfulness.
Image: Covered bridge interior structure, Northern Ohio, USA