Spring is in the air.
I’m not sure if we, as a collective, feel more anticipation for any other season than Spring. After our Winter of snow, cold and darkness, the sunshine that feels warm against our skin, the layers of clothing we shed when we venture outdoors for a walk and the patches of snow melting into large puddles stir in our hearts. Spring is here. The darkness is over. The time has come to open the windows, to let the fresh air in, to linger outside longer and longer and enjoy the steadily increasing moments of sunlight.
In books I’ve been reading lately, authors have been putting to words the sentiment I’ve felt in my heart and experienced as a child. Nature itself is one of God’s books for us to look at and learn more. The other book, the Scriptures, are what we commonly think of when we think of spending time with God, learning about Him and practical application of who we are in Christ. What a beautiful sense of quiet excitement to read books about astronomy and books about Spiritual Direction that share in the wonder of nature to learn more about our Creator.
Even on the back cover of Star Struck by Dr.David Bradstreet and Steve Rabey, it states; “In Star Struk, astronomer David Bradstreet and writer Steve Rabey take you on a guided tour of stars, asteroids, galaxies, nebula, black holes, and other cosmic characters, showing that the story of astronomy is a story of people seeking to better understand the Creator’s character by studying his two books– Scriptures and nature.” *swoon* I devoured this book in days and even began reading it again! This second reading I plan to take notes because so many things were noteworthy to look back on again and again.
In my current read, The Practice of Spiritual Direction by William A. Barry and William J. Connolly, left my notebook with the words, ‘ALL OF PAGES 53-56 about nature + contemplation’ followed with a heart. A few favourite lines from these pages are; “Traditionally people have found peace and refreshment in the beauty of nature… The Judeo-Christian tradition, moreover, has persistently spoken of God as revealing self in created things.” A favourite goes on to say, “Most of us have been accustomed by reading, by courses in Church teaching, and perhaps by philosophy and theology classes to the truth that God is in all things, but few of us have ever looked long enough at a flower to let God reveal self as the maker of that flower for me. Before I can see a tree as an embodiment of God’s activity, I must first see it, touch it, and smell it as a tree…. looking at natural beauty can in itself be a way of relating to God.”
The excerpts from the books above make me feel seen.
They make me feel like the way I can gaze out my window each morning, look at the tree’s, the way the sun lights up the sky in various shades, how the birds sing and how the wind moves and be reminded of the presence of God in my life is a beautiful gift of the Creator in how I naturally interact with him. Pages of my journal are filled with reflections on seasons and nature and God– all beautifully intertwined by what I read in Scripture to be the character of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and. God created everything so we can see God’s fingerprints on everything. Lessons can come from the pages of the Bible, from those we interact with, and from the world surrounding us.
I have always been drawn to the wonder of nature and how nature expresses so much of God to us. Scripture shares how the sky declares His glory, encourages us to be like trees planted near water, and even uses phrases like ‘fruit of the spirit’ to bring pictures and examples to mind. Even Jesus encouraged people to look at the bird of the sky and the flowers that grow. How beautiful it is to not feel limited in how we study the Divine but be totally enthralled by creation so that we can’t help but learn about the Divine in all we see.
As we behold the wonder of Spring,
we embrace lessons about the importance of intentionally planting seeds of what we want to see grow and caring for those seeds. We learn about how roots need to grow deep down into a nourishing foundation before we see the sprout above the dirt. We learn that rain doesn’t last forever and the sun will shine. In Spring we remember that the first plants to bloom are the ones who were planted before the winter came– a reminder that we all go through different seasons and to not compare ourselves with others. The lessons we can learn from nature around us can go hand-in-hand with the teachings in Scripture and we can truly study God’s two books to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus, ourselves and others.
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7 NLT
A verse like the one above uses the imagery of nature to encourage believers on our journey. We see plants grow. We understand roots after spending our lives surrounded by nature. Scripture like this gives us real-world examples to help us understand. So, as we look to the trees and the plants with roots that can even break concrete, let us remember to root down into Jesus so we can be strong in our faith and give gratitude to God.
As I looked at what kind of offerings to bring you for soul care yoga throughout 2021, I was reminded of my natural pull towards lessons from nature and where they meet scripture and the divine. This space I am continually moved to acknowledge the presence of God, this space that birthed half of the offerings of both Nourish and Harvest. Seasonally inspired by the Created of the seasons so why not share my very personal practice with you?
We will look at the lessons we learn from spring, we will look at scripture to encourage us through the season and we will enjoy these 4 weeks as we look at ‘God’s two books– Scripture and nature’ (literally a new favourite quote as you’ve heard it many times in this post).
I am so looking forward to sharing my passion and practice with you throughout April.
Click HERE to learn more and to sign up to receive the weekly class reminder emails each Wednesday morning and the weekly follow-up email with access to the class replay and a spring-inspired nourishing practice. The page itself includes the link to the Zoom class so share with those you think might enjoy this session.
I look forward to connecting with you throughout April and enjoying the wonder of Spring together.