A downpour recently showed me how my life has been enriched by the addition of nature. Standing at the checkout counter at a store, I heard infuriated rain hitting the roof. I looked towards the doors and saw a huddle of people standing and waiting. They waited for weather more pleasant. Less abrasive.
What to do? I wondered, though only for a moment. I whispered encouraging words to myself ( "Suck it up, Buttercup,") and I left the comforting shelter of the store to face the sensation of sheet-like rain.
Head down, I raced to my car, splashing through puddles and probably looking a fool to those who chose shelter over showers. I plopped into the seat of my car dripping wet, and you probably won't guess what I did next--
I took a selfie.
In that moment, I was so surprised by the person I had become in contrast to the person that I had been. I remember, at 20 years old, waiting inside a campus building for 30 minutes during a rainstorm so that I wouldn't have to walk home. The time I waited was at least a round-trip walk there and back, but the wasted time was worth dry hair and unsmudged makeup.
Nature was a foreign place to me. But I see now how my spiritual life is connected to my nature life. The farther away my body gets from the earth, the bigger the distance between my heart and God's. There's correlation, and most definitely causation. As He draws me nearer, I want to spend more time in His creation. Romans 1:20 says,
"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
We Were Created to be in Nature
In the garden, humans were created. They lived in the land under the shelter of trees and ate straight from the earth. And as a result, humans continue to reap the benefits of nature, even after the fall.
We feel less stressed.
Our anger and stress are reduced.
Heart rates and blood pressure go down.
Our eyesight improves.
We can clearly see, and clearly see Him.
And yet, collectively, we are spending less time in nature. Children today spend half as much time outside as their parents, some research suggests. We see increased obesity and increased mental health problems, while faith in God is becoming an unmentionable in some communities. We were created to be in nature, and separation from it is not without consequence.
In July, I will work on giving my children the habit of nature through books and ideas in Idea Nest. Sign up to have Idea Nest sent to your inbox.