Have you watched a bird effortlessly flying through the air without flapping its wings?
Have you witnessed the persistence of a waterfall cutting its way through rock with awe-inspiring beauty?
Have you looked up through a collection of treetops to see the sunshine lighting up the bright blue sky?
Nowhere does it appear more possible for God to be great than it does when you are outside reflecting on His works.
In our routine daily hustle, we have the tendency to succumb to tunnel vision, focusing on the task at hand that benefits the immediate future. There are times when that focus is necessary. On the other hand, there are times when you must set aside those duties you have delegated to yourself and allocate time to embrace the world He has created. Job 12:7-10 tells us that the animals, the birds, the earth, and the fish are able to inform you of how He has created them to work synergistically. They are well aware of the way in which they came to be and continue to be. It is us humans, His children, that require the consistent reminder of his omniscience, possessing infinite knowledge, and omnipresence.
Jesus himself sought the refuge of nature in Mark chapter 6. In verse 31, He asks the disciples to find a remote place to rest with Him. They agree, climb in a boat and settle on a hillside by the water. Before they know it, a crowd of people surrounds Jesus, carrying their burdens to His feet. Jesus begins to speak to them with compassion because He longs to connect with them. Soon after, the crowd finds that all 5,000 of them have been fed by only 5 loaves and 2 fish. How was that possible? When we let go of our tasks and schedules to seek Him where He is reflected best, He meets our needs. You may return to resolve those problems back at home or the office later. Now you will have God-sized solutions because you have given Him access to your heart in the quiet cathedrals under the trees and the open throne rooms at the tops of the hills.
When we immerse ourselves in nature more frequently, our cortisol (stress) levels decrease, our access to oxygen increases, our blood pressure improves and our minds can be at rest. Psalm 8:3-4 reminds us that, even though He controls the waters, the lands, the heavens and the life they contain, He continues to care for His children who inhabit such a magnificent place. Best of all, Romans 1:20 tells us we can see the character of God by looking at His creations. The next time you feel your circumstance is out of your control, which it usually is, I would encourage you to immerse yourself in His glorious creation. You heart and lungs with thank you; your bones and muscles will thank you; your mind and spirit will thank you.
1. Reflecting on today, the past week, and the past month, how might a trip outside have given you some perspective?
2. Can you find 15 minutes daily to get outside? Could you invite someone to enjoy that time with?
3. What benefits will your mind, body and soul experience from allocating this time to being in nature on a more regular basis? Do you believe it will it improve your productivity, social contributions and mood?
Goal setting and sharing:
List 3 activities and/or locations you would love to do and/or visit that will allow you to connect to His creation: