The great outdoors has always been special to me. When I was a kid, nothing was better than camping, fishing, hiking, and not showering. I remember great conversations around the campfire and early mornings on the lake. There was no schedule, no internet, and no worries. 30 years and five children later, I still love the outdoors, but I have come to a more theological appreciation of God’s creation as revealed in nature.
Unfortunately, it seems that it is getting more difficult to enjoy the outdoors. Busy schedules, project deadlines, and even kids’ extracurricular activities can all be barriers to what can be amazing, quiet moments with God in His creation. We settle for a beautiful picture on our phone rather than being a part of that beautiful picture. God’s creation brings to life the God described in the Bible…majestic, beautiful, awesome, pure, and lovely. So I want to share four benefits of getting outdoors and enjoying God’s creation.
1. God’s creation is humbling, resulting in worship. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” Isaiah 40:12. God is big and we are not. His creation reminds me of this constantly. When you are standing in front of a large mountain or the deep ocean, you realize how great God is!
2. God’s creation turns down the volume on the noisiness of life. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Here is a little challenge for you: on your next lunch break or when the kids are at school, turn your phone off and sit at a quiet park. Sit for 30 minutes and enjoy the quiet. What was it like? What did you think about? If you are like me, you thought about the day’s schedule. Then you thought about the weekend schedule. Maybe you thought about finances or relationships. It can be difficult, but we need to train our minds to think about God, His character, and His greatness. Getting away and enjoying His creation can help in this training.
3. God’s creation provides time to ponder. Psalm 77:12 says, “I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” This is a funny word that has lost some meaning. Why do we need to ponder when we can “google it”? Making time to be outside provides the opportunity to think deeply about God, relationships, fears, loves, etc.
4. God’s creation provides teachable moments for your children. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” Deuteronomy 6:7-9. When our family is at the beach, I will ask my kids, “who made this?” And then I will share truths about how God measures the waters with the hollow of his hand. His creation provides a great backdrop to teach God’s word and God’s truth to your children.
So get outdoors, leave that phone at home, skip that shower, and enjoy the God of your salvation and the creator of this world!