Every year, my daughter and I look forward to the day when we can move our morning workouts from indoors to outdoors.
This morning, we had a break in the chilly, rainy weather, and after warming up with a round of cardio inside, we stepped out to the deck to do the rest of our workout. Our deck faces our back yard, which in spring time is a field of spring beauties; beyond that is a forest through which we can see the sun rising.
Every time we head out there, my head clears and my heart lifts before we even begin. Listening to the birdsong, breathing in the clean air, taking in the spectacular view – it fills me with gratitude to be in a natural world, flawed though it is, that God has created for our pleasure.
What is it about nature that draws us in and fills us up with such positive emotion?
There is science behind the answer. I’ve read that taking a walk in the woods stimulates a positive response in our brains – John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High,” as it were.
Science aside, nature is simply another of God’s good gifts.
He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. – Psalm 33:5
After all, he placed Adam and Eve in a pristine garden.
Christ took comfort in a garden before his great ordeal.
And David saw nature as a mirror of its Creator: powerful, beautiful, majestic, inspiring.
While watching sheep as a boy, and when fleeing from Saul to the wilderness, David must have spent many nights peering up at the star-spangled sky. He expressed his awe that all Creation, though magnificent and sometimes incomprehensible, was still meant for mankind to have dominion over.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! – Psalm 8:3-9
Amen, David! What a privilege it is to soak up the beauty of nature every day, and to consider him who created it.
Are you able to get out into nature often? What is your favorite aspect of the change from winter to spring? I appreciate your comments and shared stories as always.