Experiencing God in Nature
The first Bible ever written was nature. “Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.” – Romans 1:20
The practice of experiencing God in nature only requires that one goes outside with an intention to pay attention to what is. Slowly walk on a path and take the time to look at the trees and marvel at their strength. Look at the grass and be in awe at its resilience. Look at the rocks and be amazed by their forms. Look at the life that scurries on the ground or flies in the air and be as happy as they seem to be. Listen to the sounds and be surprised by what you hear in the trees, in the grass or in a stream. Everywhere you look in nature there are signs of life, death and new life to be found. We most often miss them because we are not intentionally paying attention.
Maybe you can take some time to go to a forest or venture out on a hike with the intention of seeing and experiencing the power of God’s creation. If so, it would be good to take along a journal to write down or draw a picture of what you experience.
According to the University of Minnesota, nature heals, soothes, restores and connects us to one another and the larger world God has created for us to care for and enjoy.
The Center for Greater Good at Berkley University California says that nature reduces stress, makes us happier, relieves attention fatigue, increases creativity, helps us to be kinder and more generous, and makes us feel more alive.
No wonder nature was the first Bible written to reveal the majesty of God. Maybe we should practice reading it more often.