The 1 Biggest Reason Nature Matters in our Spiritual Lives–from a Modern Point of View

 

iStock_000057827554_MediumBeing outside is one of the great pleasures in life, particularly in good weather. I love pulling weeds, planting seeds, pushing the kids around for a walk or run and even the occasional hike; (see my picture of Skellig Michael in Ireland above).

But I don’t consider the “why,” very often, as I do with a lot of other things.

This short article really hit-home for me about some of the reasons being outside feels so good and is so good for us.

“God created humans in the wild and placed us in a garden. We’re meant to live a substantial portion of our lives outdoors—and it’s a unique place to experience our Creator and restore our spirits.” – Michael Hyatt

In a sense, this is so obvious, and yet we don’t hear it enough. Our love for natural boils down to a simply, basic spiritual reality.

Great saints have said similar things, “The Heavens are singing the glory of God” -St. Francis.

Hyatt ‘s blog connects it with business and personal development, which is nice in this case because sometimes it helps to hear things in a contemporary context. And he has research and studies about how being in or even just seeing nature aids your mind, concentration, sleep habits, physical fitness and also spiritual life.  Continue reading

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“Thin Places” and the Rest and Understanding in Heaven, from the First Things Blog

This is a version of my cover shot, taken on our honeymoon on our visit to Skellig Michael in Ireland. I loved the imagery of the stairway on the fierce landscape leading up, as if straight to heaven.

This is a version of my cover shot, taken on our honeymoon on our visit to Skellig Michael in Ireland. I loved the imagery of the stairway on the fierce landscape leading up, as if straight to heaven.

I loved this post from Timothy George on the First Things blog, not only because it described Skillig Michael, the Irish island in the cover photo of my blog, so well, a place my husband and I visited on our honeymoon, but because it also included this poem an description of the saints:

      We know not half they sing
Or half they do,
But this we know
They rest and understand.

In this life we have little time for rest. Many, many times we do not understand. But in that place God is preparing for all those who know and love him, there will be rest and there will be understanding.

That is a message that I needed to hear. Far from a land of white clouds and unoffensive harp music, there will be true rest and a fullness of understanding.

And here about Skellig Michael

Five hundred years after the birth of Christ, Celtic monks came to live and worship on this island. Buffeted by howling winds and rough seas, enveloped in fog and rain and mist, they huddled together in the little beehive huts they had constructed out of stone. (These sanctuaries of solitude are weathered but still intact today.) They prayed. They copied the Scriptures and lifted their voices in praise to God, morning, noon, and night. Earlier, St. Antony had retreated to the African desert to preserve a Christianity that was being contaminated by secularized Roman society. Irish monks of the sixth century did not have a desert to flee to, but they did have an ocean. Skellig Michael was the most obscure and distant island of the known world. Shrouded in darkness, it became a lighthouse to the world. From places like Skellig Michael, the Gospel was carried forth by Celtic monks and missionaries

Whole piece here.

Have you ever visited a “thin place” as George refers to it, a place where the truth of heaven seemed to come down and seem almost tangible?