Blue Lake inlet, Warner Mountains CA
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul . . . (Ps 23:1-3 AKJV)
The ancient Psalm resonates once again, and I’m thankful for those green pastures and still waters. I’m thankful for the incredible Beaver Park year when we experienced natural wonders first hand. We took the children out of school and camped for a year in the American Southwest, a year of discovery and soul stirring epiphanies. I’m thankful for each day that we woke to the joy of nature, explored its nooks and crannies, faced the realities of wind and weather, and discovered new territory. I’m thankful that nature is larger, grander, older, and more profound than we ever imagined, and I’m thankful that we perceived something more. During that year we made the connection between the creation and spirit, and came to know the great outdoors as witness to the Creator.
Living outdoors for a year made us feel at home there. Through the astonishing variety, amazing functionality, and what must be described as the wonders of nature, we came home inspired, motivated, and with our souls restored. Yet even for that limited time, being part of a living community brought an awareness of responsibility: to cherish the beauty and function of the outdoor world. It’s not just about having fun out there, we have a moral responsibility, caring for the earth, and doing the right thing for the planet that sustains us.
Is earth stewardship biblical? Yes. Check out our biblical backup, Cherish the Earth, The Environment and Scripture.** Peter Illyn of Restoring Eden says our book is the best one for beginners in this ministry. Positive and upbeat, it is written for the lay reader and contains one of the most comprehensive collections of Scripture on the subject. Study questions for group discussion supplement each chapter. Try it as a daily devotional or group Bible study. It is also a ready reference and resource for camp leaders, pastors, or outreach groups as they lead us in a ministry of gratitude and praise for this wonderful planet.
Today I thank God for this amazing and beautiful earth. I thank God for all the systems that work in dynamic equilibrium and sustain our lives. I thank God for the green infrastructure that covers the earth–all the vegetation that feeds us, provides oxygen, shelters us and other animals, and fills many needs. I thank God for the beauty, the heart–stopping wonders, the delicate mechanisms that promote abundant life. I thank God for blessing us with grace and mercy so that we can live in such a wonder–filled world.
May you be led to green pastures and still waters, so that your soul will be restored.