Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

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sarge
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Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

#1

Post by sarge » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:37 pm

"I have seen so many miracles during my lifetime ... Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and He gave it to me."
-Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel


"**I asked for wonder, and He gave it to me.** A Philistine will stand before a Claude Monet painting and pick his nose; a person filled with wonder will stand there fighting back tears.
By and large, our world has lost its sense of wonder. We have grown up. We no longer catch our breath at the sight of a rainbow or the scent of a rose, as we once did. We have grown bigger and everything else smaller, less impressive. We get blasé and worldly-wise and sophisticated. We no longer run our fingers through water, no longer shout at the stars or make faces at the moon. Water is H20, the stars have been classified, and the moon is not made of green cheese. Thanks to satellite TV and jet planes, we can visit places once accessible only to a Columbus, a Balboa, and other daring explorers.
There was a time in the not too distant past when a thunderstorm caused grown men to shudder and feel small. But God is being edged out of His world by science. The more we know about meteorology, the less inclined we are to pray during a thunderstorm. Airplanes now fly above, below and around them. Satellites reduce them to photographs. What ignominy - if a thunderstorm could experience ignominy! Reduced from theophany to nuisance!
Heschel says that today we believe all enigmas can be solved. As Samuel Johnson once said, wonder is nothing but 'the effect of novelty upon ignorance.' Certainly, the new can amaze us: a space shuttle, the latest computer game, the softest diaper. Till tomorrow, till the new becomes old, till yesterday's wonder is discarded or taken for granted. Small wonder Rabbi Heschel concluded, 'As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines.'
We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive, that we become immune to the glory of creation. We barely notice the cloud passing over the moon or the dewdrops clinging to the rose petals. The ice on the pond comes and goes. The wild blackberries ripen and wither. The blackbird nests outside out bedroom window, but we don't see her. We avoid the cold and the heat. We refrigerate ourselves in the summer and entomb ourselves in plastic in winter. We rake up every leaf as fast as it falls. We are so accustomed to buying prepackaged meats and fish and fowl in supermarkets, we never think and blink about the bounty of God's creation. We grow complacent and lead practical lives. We miss the experience of awe, reverence, and wonder.
Our world is saturated with grace, and the lurking presence of God is revealed not only in spirit but in matter--in a deer leaping across a meadow, in the flight of an eagle, in fire and water, in a rainbow after a summer storm, in the gentle doe streaking through a forest, in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in a child licking a chocolate ice cream cone, in a woman with windblown hair. God intended for us to discover His loving presence in the world around us.
...When a young Celtic monk saw his cat catch a salmon swimming in shallow water, he cried, 'The power of the Lord is in the paw of the cat.'"
-Brennan Manning
The Ragamuffin Gospel


You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

#2

Post by gmcpcs » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:30 pm

Great post!

I've been lately noticing that when I get out to the woods, or desert, or at least outdoors, I see more of the "very small" wonders. Not that I would call a flower petal, bee or other created thing minuscule, but it's the crystal structure of a rock, the way a tree leans, or how a small insect knows how to get back to the hive from where it just gathered nectar.

I can look to the fact that my eyes are growing older, and my steps slower, that in that fact I am slowing down and beginning to enjoy those small wonders that are much more complex than first meets the eye. I take more pictures of flowers now. I enjoy the experience of being outdoors, and not just to trek through the miles as fast as possible, but maybe just to wander off the beaten path, see the awesome wonder that the others in my pack of hikers just missed.

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Re: Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

#3

Post by rhjanes » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:07 pm

I try and hike 8.5 miles in one go, on either Saturday or Sunday. With the flooding in NTX, my trail was under water and very dangerous. I tried a month ago, and got in 2 miles before it was impassable. And this is a BIG trail, with lots of horses on it keeping it open. Anyway, last Sunday I got in the same distance and hit the flood. Turned around and ran into another hiker who WAS going thru the water, he had on jungle military boots. Anyway, he and I traded trail stuff around the flood (I knew of a trail he did not, he informed me of where the flooding was and I realized the UPPER Trail would bypass the flood!). ANyway, i got in my 8.5 miles and realized near the end, how much I'd missed being in God's nature. Seeing the shed snake skin, the butterflies, the turtles, the fish loving their now full ponds.....
Call me Junior
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Re: Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

#4

Post by UncleMJM » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Great reminders to me that I need to stop so much "doing" and get out to do some "being".

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Re: Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

#5

Post by Foresight » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:30 pm

"I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance..
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)"

Lee Ann Womack

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Re: Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

#6

Post by V_Allen » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:18 pm

Excellent posts - thank you all. As someone who has actually died (clinically dead) and been brought back - not once, but twice, I now see and feel things I never saw or felt when I was younger. If people would actually slow down and see instead of just looking, they might begin to wonder about things such as who we are and why we're here. I was saved by a beautiful woman in a field hospital. Saved both spiritually and physically. I'm now married to her and have two outstanding children. My wife and I go outside to sit and look at the shear beauty of whats around us - especially the stars and we're both content. We know whats waiting for us out there.

Vince and Barb
Last edited by V_Allen on Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why I Go To See Creation, Not Just To Go Camping

#7

Post by DuxDawg » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:23 pm

Great stuff folks.

A constant struggle to remember... what were we talking about?? lol... to take time to experience the awe. I try to slow down at least once per hike, no matter how pressed for time, and just soak it all in. Some of the best memories are from following that butterfly or inspecting every leaf of a plant.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 NASB
"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9 NASB

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