Letter 39: Pause in Nature

My Son,

 

Being still before God is a daily exercise, yet there are many times throughout the year where an extended pause on your life may be necessary for your spiritual nourishment. Growing up, I would go to camp every summer and spend a significant amount of time in nature. The main camp I went to was in the beautiful state of Colorado with its abundant mountains, trees, rivers, and lakes. At one of those camps I had a counselor who had just gotten back from a 3-month wilderness kayaking adventure. He told me something profound; he said, “You may not need to go three months, but for the sake of your soul and connecting to God, you need to make sure that every year of your life you spend at least a week out in nature.” I have since taken that to heart, and I have found my counselor to be right. The time of greatest refreshment for me comes from simply being in God’s beautiful creation.

Whether it’s hiking, biking, running, climbing, camping, backpacking, or any other fun outdoor activity, being outside where there is fresh air during the day and an abundance of stars at night, will refresh your soul. It is a way to escape the busyness and cares of this world and set your gaze on God. We can perceive what God is like in nature, for “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20).

Therefore, I encourage you, my son, to pause, take a retreat, and be with God in the beauty of his creation. For in so doing, you will find refreshment for your soul and clarity for your mind.

 

Love,

Dad

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