Every summer my wife and I (now with three little gaffers in tow) take time away from work, from home, and (mostly) from electricity. We are campers (the type who use tents). We are admirers of nature. We embrace simplicity. We love to wonder and marvel. We are blessed to live here and now. We do something biblical and come to appreciate God-the-creator all the more for our time away.
We read in Psalm 8 that David found he could learn much about God by looking at the sky, unpolluted by the lights of our modern cities, “When I look out at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” When we spend time in nature we get bitten by bugs, those mountains don’t climbs themselves and there is sand in our sleeping bags…on the other hand we are reminded–as Tim Keller points out in a sermon–that God is HUGE, that he made it all not with his strength, power, arms, or even hands, but with his fingers, like an artist. Delicately he put the pieces into place, so large is he, so tender, so caring. Blessed are we with eyes to see! Hearts to sing! And minds to appreciate!
It can all make us feel very small, looking out into the stars and pondering the immensity of it all, standing at the base of a mountain, or beside thrashing churning waters too violent to consider putting a foot in let alone crossing.
David reminds us to enjoy that the very God who made all this wants to know us, wants to hear us in prayer and praise, was willing to die for us.
This summer, whatever you do, I pray that you will find some time to go outside and intentionally nourish your soul, walk in the woods, stare at some water, whatever connects your soul to the meaning behind the universe. We will, most of us, be well-nourished this summer, we will have all the food and treats we can handle, we will share special times with people special to us. May we also spend time with the God who makes it all possible. We will be refreshed for the effort. It won’t look like we are doing much, but then I wonder what David looked like as we wandered around writing those psalms, and I smile and trust God smiles with me as I enjoy his creation, and the people he has put in my life. May you find him in the flowers.