5. Depend on God
Being surrounded by animals, bugs, and birds, not to mention plants and trees, rivers, streams, and mountains, is another humbling experience. But it’s also an opportunity to take a lesson from these things. They have a beautiful, wholesome, symbiotic relationship with each other. There is an ebb and flow of life and death, give and take, all part of a never-ending circle.
In Matthew 6:25-27, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
We should be like the birds, or as much as we can be—they just depend on God to provide. Being surrounded by these creatures reminds us that we are at our best when we are in true and utter dependence on God.
6. Our Wondrous Bodies
When we are outside in nature, many times we are doing something physical. Perhaps we are hiking, canoeing, or fishing. Perhaps we are simply reclining in a lawn chair outside a tent or RV. And in being more physical, we often become more conscious of our body, our skin, our muscles, the way everything works together.
Sometimes in life we get focused on notions like having the perfect body or being the perfect weight, and we forget to be grateful for what we do have. We forget about all the really wonderful things our bodies can do, even when they’re sick or have so-called flaws or disabilities. Our bodies are just right exactly as they are.
This also reminds us of our mortality—and that this frame we inhabit is merely a shell for the soul. It is here now, but eventually our bodies will die and our souls will be with God in heaven forever and ever. Our bodies are a temple. We should treat ourselves well, with respect, because God created us. We are precious, cherished, and special to him.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Yoel Kamara