What does it mean that the earth is so beautiful? And what should I do about it? – Mary Oliver
Since I was a child, I have always loved the outdoors. The soft green grass, the pale blue sky with fluffy clouds billowing amongst it, the hush of corn stalks in the field as the wind blows through them, the burning colors of a sunset to wind down the day, the humming of cicadas on a cool summer evening. These are sights and sounds I remember as a child, and ones that I still cherish today. One reason is that I feel closest to God when I am appreciating his nature’s beauty.
It wasn’t until I became an adult, just recently as a matter of fact, that I realized the beauty of nature is one way God pursues us. Like a man pursuing a woman, the Lord spoils us with beautiful things in our lives. Realizing this made me love God, and appreciate nature even more so.
We take photos to capture a perfect moment in nature.
Since beginning my blog, I realized how important good quality images would be. After all, who doesn’t like a pretty picture? I purchased a decent camera (as in not my iPhone camera!), and began taking snapshots of things I found beautiful. Most of my pictures are of nature, primarily right in my backyard!
I have found that taking a snapshot of a beautiful creation from God draws me nearer to Him. I appreciate Him more when I realize the beauty that surrounds me was made by Him. Not only did he create it, but He created it for us to enjoy. What a wonderful and gracious God we have!
Take time to enjoy the simple things.
We all have busy and hectic lives, there is no doubt about that. I frequently write on the importance of slowing down once in a while to appreciate the little things. Not just the little things, but the big, wonderful, gorgeous things God has created for us. It is sort of an insult not to stop and appreciate the beauty He has created for us isn’t it? If a man brought you some beautiful flowers or your husband made something for you, it would be rude not to show enthusiasm and appreciation for what he did. It is the same for the wonderful gifts God has created for us.
Find a way to intentionally seek out and appreciate The Lord’s gifts. Sit outside this evening and enjoy the sunset, take pictures of a beautiful field growing near your home, read a book under a big old tree that shades you from the natural light He provides us with, or perhaps take-up an outdoor sport you enjoy. Not only will you have the gift of enjoying these beautiful things, but think of it as a way to grow closer in your relationship with Him by spending time in His creations.
“Let us make man in our image. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds in the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
God has entrusted us to care for His great earth. Aside from the things that come to mind immediately, such as not polluting or littering, there are several ways we can care for the earth. Some can be hobbies, some can turn into careers.
The farmer cares for the earth by planting and growing crops for man to consume, therefore also caring for God’s children. The hunter provides food for her family, and helps to manage wildlife populations so the natural order of us may continue on. The gardener prunes and weeds her produce so that it may flourish and feed her community, carrying out the will of God. Not only is enjoying and appreciating nature something God wants us to do, but we also must care for this great land.
During these last few weeks of summer, I call you to choose one thing to do on a regular basis to enjoy God’s beautiful creations. Pursue an outdoor hobby, cook a homemade meal for those you love with food fresh from the garden, pray outside on your back porch first thing of a morning during a sunrise. Anything you want! Feel how more connected and loved you feel by God through appreciation for all the wonderful ways he pursues you.