The Natural World: In Praise of the Creator

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Lake pic

The Natural World: In Praise of the Creator


Hounded by headlines and deadlines, consumed with meetings and memos, plagued by the issues of the day…what is one to do?

I say, take a walk.

Pull up a chair on the front porch.

And let the Creator apply the balm of nature.

“The natural world can offer us more than the means to survive, on the one hand, or mortal risks to be avoided, on the other; it can offer us joy” (Michael McCarthy).

Nature is not our god. 

Nature is certainly not our god, but the Author of nature is, and He provides the gift of nature to lead us to joy.

Although McCarthy’s views and mine differ on several fronts, I can certainly endorse his poetic enthusiasm toward the joyful nature of creation:

“Referring to it as joy may not facilitate its immediate comprehension either, not least because joy is not a concept, nor indeed a word, that we are entirely comfortable with, in the present age. The idea seems out of step with a time whose characteristic notes are mordant and mocking, and whose preferred emotion is irony. Joy hints at an unrestrained enthusiasm which may be thought uncool… It reeks of the Romantic movement. Yet it is there. Being unfashionable has no effect on its existence… What it denotes is a happiness with an overtone of something more…”

Something more…

McCarthy concludes that this “something more” is an, elevated, spiritual quality; indeed it is, and this very quality emanates from the Creator. Nature is God’s content, says C.S. Lewis:

Many people – I am one myself – would never, but for what nature does to us, have had any content to put into the words we must use in confessing our faith. Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in other ways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me. I still do not know where else I could have found one. I do not see how the “fear” of God could have ever meant to me anything but the lowest prudential efforts to be safe, if I had never seen certain ominous ravines and unapproachable crags. And if nature had never awakened certain longings in me, huge areas of what I can now mean by the “love” of God would never, so far as I can see, have existed.

Lewis goes on to explain that once “we have seen an image of glory,” we must go beyond to an “increasing knowledge of God”:

Nature cannot satisfy the desires she arouses nor answer theological questions nor sanctify us. Our real journey to God involves constantly turning our backs on her; passing from the dawn-lit fields into some poky little church, or (it might be) going to work. in an East End parish. But the love of her has been a valuable and, for some people, an indispensable initiation.

So, take a walk.

Pull up a chair on the front porch.

And let the Creator apply the balm of nature that can lead us to joy.


One Comment

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  1. Faith

    Great post!! I love being out in God’s creation where i almost always experience peace, joy and the wonder of it all. Love,your new blog, Laura!,

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