Our Bible study group just finished Jen Hatmaker's book Tune In, about hearing the voice of God through various means and circumstances.
As part of her last section, "God Haunts" (where God likes to "hang out"), she focuses in on God speaking to us through His creation. She poses a question about whether we hear God through nature. "Are you a 'Nature Girl'?" she asks.
Of the seven gals around the table, five were not nature girls. (Not even the beach! I was stunned!!) The gal next to me didn't comment (I know she goes to the beach but maybe that's where it ends....)
Me? I'm very much a nature girl, though, these days, I find God speaking to me more directly through reading the Bible. But as a girl growing up, God and nature were synonymous. Had I been more assertive (like way more assertive), I could have led a lively debate—"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature when she's a fraud anyway!"
Maybe it was because I spent so much time outside as a kid, playing in the yard. One of my favorite places to just sit was a big craggy rock in the side front yard. Great place to study the trees, flowers, bushes, feel the breeze...think. I always thought that the moon was probably like that rock, and I liked to sit on the moon. I've always enjoyed watching the birds. Still consider them the "pets" of our house (besides the fake stuffed golden retriever).
Hanging out in nature got the creative juices going. It was energizing! It put thoughts into perspective, if not into actual words. Of course, back then, I didn't realize that I had the perfect way to "Be still and know that He is God!"
But, that understanding DID become clear for me as a girl—a Girl Scout, to be exact. We had a weekend camp-out at one of the Girl Scout campgrounds. Spent the entire weekend hiking the trails, enjoying the challenge of following colored markers and spotting wildlife. Sat by streams and had bark boat races. Made real campfires.
And had "church"...outside, in nature.
We had prepared for a "service" the night before. There would be a flag presentation and some readings. Songs, of course (our high school helpers played guitar). We were told to be reverent, quiet, thoughtful.
So, there we were, Sunday morning. Sun coming up through the trees. We walked in a line out onto the open green, surrounded by these trees. The "service" began. While I don't remember anything specific about what was read, I do remember one song in particular (and was so excited to find it on someone's post in Minnesota!). It's called "Wonder-Full World" by James Thiem.
"Take care to wonder
at the world through which you wander.
Never hurry by an open door,
for you live in a universe,
full of miracles galore."
And then there were verses. Here are two I remember clearly:
Standing in the marvelous creation that He made, singing these words, I was completely overwhelmed with the idea that God was real and He made some beautiful things!
"Look for God in small things:
drops of rain or a grain of sand.
Praise him whenever you
find him in anything small.
Look for God in bright things:
Someone's eyes or the skies at noon.
Praise him whenever you
find him in anything bright."
Today, when I read through these lyrics, I get totally choked up at the repeated refrain "Praise Him whenever you find Him in anything....." I didn't understand the significance of all the lyric was saying. But, Scripture confirms that we are to praise Him in all things! ALL things. Care to add a few verses to the song? I know we all could.
So, I do take care to wonder, because He does speak to me through His creation.
Yes, God, You are very big! But You still speak to ME, because I'm part of Your creation, too. And I stand, stand in awe of You....
Take care to wonder, indeed!!