The power of nature…
where God’s creation surrounds us daily…
and we are grateful for this world.
Nearly three decades ago, a movement extolling the virtues of experiencing the great outdoors emerged from Japan. Shinrin-yoku (translated as “taking in the forest atmosphere”), promoted the therapeutic benefits of truly observing and experiencing the natural world. As September marks the beginning of the Episcopal Church’s emphasis committing to Creation Care, my thoughts have been directed more concertedly at the beauty and bounty our Creator has provided.
Throughout Scripture, the noun “wilderness,” is used over three hundred times in both Old and New Testaments. God sends multiple people(s) into this wilderness—Abraham, Job, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, Paul, to name just a few. And when Jesus goes to pray, He is not confined within a four-wall structure; rather, He went to the mountains, to the seashore, to the wilderness.
A time for rest, reflection and renewal, I was gifted an incredible opportunity to travel to the West Coast this past week and hike miles of beloved trails. To experience sunrise from a mountain summit, to witness the moonrise and full moon from Douglas Fir forests, to pray while seated on a driftwood log as the tide came in and waves increased in intensity—what a Spiritual journey this was surrounded by the diverse elements of God’s creation.
In closing, reflect upon the following verses (1-4), from Psalm 63: a Psalm of David
when he was in the Wilderness of Judah—
O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; I will life up my hands and call on your name.
Take time each day to experience the natural gifts and give thanks for all to our Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria!