I heard on the news the other day that one of the best ways to feel better about the situation we are currently in (Coronavirus shelter in for the 100th week it seems like) is to get in touch with nature. In Leslie’s thought bubble, I said, “Duh”. Then I remembered my gift of mercy and thought, “I have seriously known that for a long time. I am sorry that others didn’t know that.” Simply stated, I believe that the Coronavirus has gotten more people outside. Obviously, some people haven’t been outside in a long time, but who cares – people are beginning to enjoy being outside.
I take my dog Charlie outside to walk almost every day. Yesterday, we went walking on my favorite stretch of the Greenbelt in Carrollton. I seriously love that time outside. That’s normally when I get my “head straight”, as my daddy would say, for the day before me. I have walked laps and laps around the property where I live just trying to “get my head straight.” It is normally how I “refresh” or hit the “reset button” if I have what my Pastor Todd says is “stinking thinking”. So yesterday as I walked Charlie on the Greenbelt, I started thinking and realizing some things about God that really put me in the best state of mind. I really was in a good place before I started, but this really did it for me, and I hope maybe as you are stepping outside, it will do it for you too!
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That verse is no surprise to most everyone that is taking the time to read this. It is from the Bible – Genesis (the absolute first book in the Bible) 1:1. That means chapter one, verse one. Anyone that has ever picked up God’s Word and began reading it started with this verse if they started at the beginning. Yesterday, I realized that I was actually walking in the creation that God made. When that thought came into my mind, I began to pay better attention. I started taking notes of the sounds I was hearing and the sights I was seeing. The world that God made really is a beautiful place. Is it perfect? No. Can we focus on the imperfections and let that drive us into a bad place? Yes, we can. But yesterday, I chose to focus on something awesome – the fact that “God created” a long time ago what has become the place that we call home. When I did that, it was almost like the trees became greener and the sky became bluer. Sounds “pie in the sky” simple, but to me, yesterday really was a reset for me. I started thinking more about God’s Word and what He says about the things that I was seeing as I walked. Like the rocks. There are large rocks on the side of the Carrollton Greenbelt near Cedar Street. Several things came to mind – 1. Psalm 62:1-2 says, “I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my ROCK (emphasis mine) and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken.” What a good Word as we are struggling with emotions in a pandemic. We have a ROCK. Thinking about those rocks at Cedar Street, there was no way that I could lift or move them. They are large and heavy. To think that I have a God that is my Rock that I can go to, cry on, lean on, you get the idea. 2. In Luke 19, Jesus was making his way into Jerusalem. This was the time in the Bible that we refer to as “The Triumphal Entry” or “Palm Sunday”. The religious leaders of the day asked Jesus to make His disciples quieten down the “King speak” because the people were saying things like, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord”, and the religious leaders of the day didn’t approve. Those religious leaders went on to make sure Jesus was crucified. Don’t forget that we are talking about rocks. In Luke 19:40, Jesus says “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the rocks would cry out.” Jesus is basically saying, “if the people are made to be quiet, creation will continue to worship God and testify to who He is.” Those big rocks on the side of the road at Cedar Street testified to me yesterday. If we are all made to be silent, for whatever reason, the rocks will continue to shout out who God is.
Then there are the birds. They all seemed so happy yesterday, chirping loudly and very busy. So many beautiful birds on that stretch of the Greenbelt. Red, blue, brown – all the beautiful colors. This pushed me to Matthew’s Gospel (1st book of the New Testament) chapter 6. This chapter in my Bible is titled “The Cure For Anxiety”, and is only 34 verses. In Matthew 26-27, the Bible says, “Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?” I couldn’t get over the fact that those birds didn’t seem to have a worry in the world. But they were doing the “bird thing”. God takes care of them. The Bible says how much more God will take care of us if we will just let Him!
I came away from that walk so refreshed in my soul, spiritually and mentally. Physically, I became healthier just by making the walk. But here is what I want to leave you with. Next time you go out – go out looking for what God has for you. Sometimes you just have to take out the air pods, turn off the phone, and be quiet. Remember, “in the beginning, God created.” Go out and be a part of His creation. This should help you get the fire started within your soul. As long as your “wood is not too wet”.
Here is the link to Midway Music’s “So Will I”. Enjoy – it speaks of God’s Creation and how much He cares for us.