THIS SERIES: THE RESTORATIVE POWER OF CREATION
Have you ever looked, really looked, at just one tree? Seen the pattern of its bark and felt its texture? Noticed how branches connect to strong limbs, the tangle of roots in the undergrowth, and how leaves unfurl from tapering twigs? Have you felt the shiny new growth in spring, and noted the detail of its design, marvelled at its autumn glory, or been entranced by its outline against a winter sky? Have you seen the sunlight dappling the ground beneath, or causing a thousand raindrops to glisten like precious gems? Have you taken time to observe the creatures which call it home?
But so often we give our natural environment a mere cursory glance as we speed about our business, and don’t take the time to read the ‘book’ of creation—and so miss an opportunity to encounter the Creator Himself.
Steven Chase* points out that Scripture describes creation as
Chase suggests that we try the following to develop our God-given sense of wonder:
We can also train ourselves to see by ‘adopting’ a tree, or other natural object, and observing how it changes through the year. We could keep a creative record of some sort, such as photographs, poetry, drawings or psalms of praise, and then ask the Lord to speak to us through it. Maybe we too will start to see the earth really is crammed with heaven!
Can't get out of doors?
Why not try CREATION'S VOICE on this website, for 30 days' worth of creation photos and pointers for reflection.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE PURSUIT OF REST?
Slowing down to really see the Lord's handiwork shifts the focus away from ourselves, and allows His peace to permeate our souls. And as the sense of wonder, which is part of our birthright, is reignited, praise and worship will surely break out, and we will find ourselves at home in the song of every created thing.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign, that will endure for ever.
*Steven Chase ‘Nature as Spiritual Practice’ (See last week’s blog for more details.)
NEXT WEEK: SEASIDE RESTORATION
The sea with its rhythms, and ever-changing character, can have a wonderful effect on our weariness...
GET IN TOUCH...
[Photo credits: Niko Photos (tree on skyline); Sam Victor (bark); Iuliu Illes (branch); Maros Misove (leaf veins); Felix Mittermeier (roots); Sabrina Bachmann (autumn leaves); Engin Akyurt (spider's web); Janko Ferlic(child);
Kim Becker (camera) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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