For many Christians any ode to nature is equated with some form of Gaia worship. This is a shame. If being in creation brings us closer to our Creator and if being reminded of our Creator gives us a greater respect for all of creation then I think things are in order. Humans were made to dwell in the midst creation and to cultivate her well-being. Both the neglect of this responsibility as well as the elevating of the creation to the status of the Creator are abuses. Worship of the Creator honors the creation given to us while tending to it on behalf of the Creator as regents.
The one place in nature where I am reminded of this the most is the ocean. This weekend I went away with my wife to the coast of Oregon to celebrate our first anniversary. On several occasions one or the other of us would comment on the vastness and beauty of the ocean. We noted how it reminded us of the goodness of God. As I think about it I have always found the endlessness of the ocean to be a reminder of the God who is that much greater. The line drawn where the ocean tends to stop (lest we horrific consequences) reminds me of the sovereignty of God. It is a place that brings me into a meditative state which I attribute to the consistent patter of the waves providing a soundtrack for in-depth thought and reflection. While I know God can speak to me anywhere this is one of those places where the creation speaks of God to me.
For others it is the mountains, a favorite river or lake, deep in the forest camping, and so forth and so on. I think we find solace in these places because sometimes we are meant to get away from it all in order to be reminded that God is God and we are not. Only God could have provided us with this beautiful habitat we call earth. So where do you go to experience this? Where in creation do you find the voice of the Creator most audible?
Funny you ask this today. I just posted a couple of hours ago about the shooting range and conservation area where I go to find it.
That would be where my dad would go…except he is an atheist! But I do know many people who find great solace in the shooting range.
Well, first of all…not Seaside! Sorry for that little outburst–I grew up in Astoria. 🙂 It is definitely the ocean for me too (that little strip of sand in front of Seaside hardly qualifies).
Any beautiful, amazing part of nature actually, but something about the vastness and power of the ocean really brings me to a place of wonder at the greatness of our God.
BTW Happy Anniversary!
I understand. I have mixed feelings about the Napa Valley that are similar to your feelings about Seaside. I know objectively that it is a beautiful place but I spent almost two decades there so I am not so sure that it does as much for me as it does other visitors.
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