Something that I have been thinking a lot about recently is how God wants me to experience His creation in my daily life. I love being outside. It feeds my soul. Interestingly, it is a similar feeling to reading the bible. It connects me with God’s heart. You know what I mean; it’s a spiritual experience. But why?
Someone once said that there are two books that teach us about God; the bible and the creation. Although they are different in many ways, there are many similarities. Both books were brought into being by God’s Word. When God made the heavens and the earth, He spoke. When He inspired Moses and the prophets to write, He was speaking. Therefore, they are both living and active Words of God. Both books also reveal the glory of God to us. The bible is not merely a collection of words. The creation is not merely a collection of atoms. There is something organic about both; they engage us on a soul level and a spirit level. And I have a sneaky feeling that we are missing out in our modern world.
When I look in the psalms at how passionately David speaks about his revelation of God from nature, I realise how much more I need to engage my heart in what I see around me. There is place for science in society, but sometimes I feel that God also intended creation to engage our soul. There is a sense in which, just as theology can separate from the Spirit behind scripture, science can separate from the Spirit behind creation. If only our biology about plants led to more poetry about God! If only our research resulted in more singing! We have not brought mind and heart together in this area. Could it be that if we cannot enjoy nature like an innocent child, we are missing out?
Jesus was like David; he often drew insights about God and the kingdom from his surroundings. Sometimes I wonder at what must have gone through the Lord’s mind as he walked through the Jewish countryside. When you read the gospels, you get the feeling that He saw all creation for what it really was, a living parable of life. Just as we can read the bible and be blind to what God is saying, how often are we blind to the simple and profound truths around us? This is not blindness due to ignorance. It is a spiritual blindness. Oh to have eyes to see the glory of God in creation! Both Jesus and David were filled with the Spirit. Perhaps this is where the blindness starts.
In this age of concrete and metal and electronics, are we surrounding ourselves with spiritually dead environments? Are we so clean and comfortable and sheltered in our civilized air conditioned culture that we are insulating ourselves from real life as we see it in creation? Perhaps spending too much time in the bible and too little time in the forest or on the beach is unhealthy? There are perhaps many sicknesses in the Christian life that stem from this. Nothing can replace the role of creation in the Christian life – not more sermons, or church meetings or worldly entertainment.
There are so many good things that can be said about this topic. There are also so many wrong ways to approach it as well. I will be posting several different thoughts on this as time goes on. But for now, I have a few questions for discussion.
What priority should creation have in our spiritual life and health?
How is modern life alienating us from creation and thus from a deeper relationship with God?
How are we as Christian’s relating wrongly with creation when we do interact with it?
Please comment and tell us how you think and feel about it!