Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Finding Joy in creation

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

Job 38:4-7

It's simply amazing to me how a day of fresh air can clean out ones mind. I'm so thankful for this cooler, enjoyable weather. This morning I had some time to sit and read more in the book, "Dancing with my Father" by Sally Clarkson. {btw, its an incredible book for anyone wondering...} I'm on the chapter that speaks to finding joy and pleasure in nature. I've never struggled with that - I LOVE creation. I grew up camping and I think that helped. We would "discover" things in lakes and streams, watch stars around the campfire, find joy in a new bug or leaf. That love of nature followed me through my childhood and clear up through highschool. I worked at a Christian camp following graduation and fell in love with the beauty of amish country, the animals in the wild and early morning talks with God sitting on a rock in the middle of horse field. No one around - just me, the Lord, some morning haze and maybe a snorting horse. {Sigh} Somedays I miss those kinds of starts to my day...

I always felt so "connected" with my Lord when I could regularly be in the presence of His creation. Life seemed more rich, more full, more... on purpose. There were mornings that I literally felt like I was at His feet while reading through the Psalms, or days I would just cry while in the Word because of the emotion that came with reading truth in His creation. Sadly, in the hustle and bustle of growing up and such - I've lost that. While my walk with the Lord is still growing and changing and being refined - I sometimes feel detatched or like something is missing. It's not the same to go and sit in my backyard - with the neighbors dog yapping at me, or cars puttering down my street. I always felt silly explaining this to people, because I got funny looks when I talked about seeing a connection between sitting in nature and closeness with God. Imagine the comfort of reading Sally's chapter where she believes the SAME thing that I've always felt... :)

"As Paul wrote in Romans 1, God's creation in nature provides multitudes of examples of beauty that reveal countless lessons and impression about our Creator. And we are without excuse because of the great evidence of God's existence through what He made. So when we stay in our air-conditioned cars or ride in underground subways, whizzing from activity to activity, and waste hours of time alone in front of a TV, we are separating ourselves from ample evidence of God's existence. And then we occasionally mutter under our breath in a lone moment, "Where are you, God? How come I can't feel your presence anymore?"

Oh how this chapter spoke to my heart. I'm so thankful for the reminder today of just how precious these gifts are: finding a beetle with my girl in our yard, the first yellow leaf {already}, breezes through our big backyard tree, raindrops on house windows, tulips springing up again by the fence, a pile of dirt and sticks to dig in it. I'm surrounded by beauty and grace. I'm so guilty of plugging my children into a TV show so I can "get things done" - when I'm totally missing the point and the mark.

My heart yearns to break away from the things that hold me back from Creation - and I'm stirred up inside to just sit in the quiet and meet with the Lord. I'm excited to teach my children the value of enjoying the world around us. Such a great reminder for my day.

*pictures taken at Camp Bayouca & Skyview Ranch

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