Traveling this summer? Will your plans take you to family, to amusement parks, or into nature? Family visits encourage bonding. Amusement parks, in my opinion, offer artificial excitement, exhaustion. My excursions into nature have brought both physical exertion and mental relaxation, slowing life’s hectic pace considerably. I vote for nature.
This summer, my wife and I drive to a convention, two days out, two days back, a few thousand miles of open prairie, unique wildlife, amazing scenery, fresh air. The return trip promises a nature stop: majestic mountains, beautiful lakes, massive bison, striped chipmunks, jittery deer, and nature songs from birds, brooks, waterfalls, and wind in the pines – scenic, raw cinema with natural surround-sound.
Orthodox theology bids me search for God-speak. Nature draws back the curtain revealing a Creator who speaks as our world and the galaxies gossip his glory and majesty, his power and beauty (Psalm 19, Romans 1). In written Word, the Holy Scriptures, God speaks, his powerful Presence filling each page. What creation lacks, God’s written Word supplies, whispering and shouting, reassuring me (nearly two hundred times in the Hebrews Scriptures) of his steadfast love (Psalm 36, 136, John 3).
Both creation and the written Word together speak God into my life. But wait, there’s a third God-speak. John, who walked with Jesus for three years, introduced him as “The Word,” God’s Living Word. God, who spoke in ancient times through ancient prophets, has now spoken with authority through his Son (Hebrews 1).
Listening to God-speak requires a disciplined ear. So I listen intently to God’s written Word, the Bible. I pursue relationship as I commune with God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ. And I worship as I hear God’s silent whisper and universal God-speak in Creation, all words that bring sweet rest and quiet my noisy soul.
by Pastor Don