Monday, June 25, 2007

Sabbatical #24: Nature Prayer (Path of Celtic Prayer #5)

I read this chapter a few days ago, but just yesterday I went with Suzanne and our girls on a drive to Mt. Rainier to play in the snow. It was a brief time in the snow, but a great drive to look at beautiful forests, snow patches, rivers, waterfalls, and craggy ledges all about. It was beautiful.

We control our environments so much that we can easily forget, apart from the natural tragedies on CNN, the wonder and power of God’s created world. The Celts lived in nature and had a hearty appreciation for it. So much so that they could be considered by some to cross the line into nature worship. According to Miller, though, their goal was to celebrate the great God behind nature, not nature.

Nature gives us a picture of God’s character and should evoke wonder and praise in us. Note this choice quote from Miller challenges the modern “inside” world that most of us inhabit…

A supersized God makes us aware of our smallness and our humble place in the universe. But in order to see him, we must give up our addiction to electronic media. Once we have seen the God of Yosemite and the Everglades, we will be better able to celebrate his awesome reality and our hearts will overflow with praise. Cognizant of God’s majesty, we will subsequently and spontaneously confess our need. (pp. 104-105)
It’s easy for me to say, up here in Washington where Mt. Rainier reminds of God’s greatness whenever the sky is clear (come to think of it, maybe not that easy!), but take some time – even in looking at the details of creation in your garden – to be reminded of God’s greatness through His creation. Go to the beach. Or the mountains.

And think on some awe-inspiring texts as well. Start with Job 38-39.

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