When I hike, I see the world differently. Glimpses of Jesus’ resurrection emerge around and within me. And even glimpses of the resurrection are sufficient for a bubbling up and welling over of hope and joy in the soul.
It’s not that resurrection doesn’t exist in changing diapers, saying “I’m sorry,” and cooking dinner for my family. Thanks be to God, it does! If God’s love couldn’t be found in the hidden moments of our lives, what hope would we have?
In nature, though, resurrection breaks though in a different kind of raw and wonder-full way.
On a recent family hike in Northern Arizona, a dead cactus on the side of the trail caught my eye. Gray in color, it shriveled back toward the earth. Out of the decay shot bright wildflowers—violet, white, yellow. I pointed it out to my dad, and he said, “Rebirth.”
Though I can steal a glance at a mountain from a window in our home, I’m surrounded by much more concrete than I’d prefer. Neighbors line up close to one another. I hear conversations I wish I didn’t, usher my children inside when neighbors’ smoke fills our backyard air, and try to make light when our “fun neighbor” blasts techno midday while we homeschool. Nothing like a little background music, I suppose. Sometimes, though, my humanity and the humanity of others feels uncomfortably close. I become cranky, judgmental, and ungrateful.
I need to be reminded of the ways God restores. The natural world does this for me. Does it do the same for you?
Phone away, chores out of sight, man made landscape left at the trailhead, the present moment is the one that matters on a trail. Open landscape shocks my eyes. God is so good to create such vast expanse. His power is evident. The air fills my nose and lungs, and I can breathe in a different way. When was the last time you inhaled and exhaled, and felt like you really filled up and let go? My ears are pleased by quiet, sounds of nature, and conversation with hiking companions. And even though my children complain of tired legs or cry out for piggy back rides, it somehow feels easier being outside.
When I’m out in God’s creation, he does work on me, his creature. He re-creates me.
If you are not and do not desire to be a hiker, I invite you to consider where God re-creates you. Where can you be yourself with the Lord? Where does God inspire you with his creativity, abundance, and goodness? Where do moments of lightness and joy come more easily? Where do the words “Thank you, God” spontaneously spill from your heart and lips? Wherever that is, perhaps you can find time to meet the Lord there this week. He lives so we might be re-created in him, again and again.