It may sound cliché to say that one finds God in nature. Yet, those of us who have purposely sought God in outdoor beauty know it to be true.
God made creation is such a way that we could see him in its beauty. God wants us to find him there. King Solomon said, “for by the greatness of the beauty and of the creatures, the creator of them may be seen and known there” (Wisdom 13:5). Saint Paul tells us that the invisible God is clearly visible in creation (Romans 1:20).
Purposefully seeking God in nature is more than just aimlessly wandering in the woods. It involves a bit of contemplation. Thomas Merton said that contemplation is a “kind of spiritual vision that sees without seeing and knows without knowing.” That’s definitely more than a simple trek beside the trees.
Before setting out to find God in nature, take time to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind that you will be ready to receive any blessings, growth, and wisdom that God wishes to bestow.
Expect a slower pace and a more quiet day. Contemplation is not a speedy endeavor. It is not filled with chatter and noise. Give yourself enough time to truly enter into the experience and enjoy being with God without feeling rushed.
Free yourself from expectations. Leave your to-do-list at home. Make room for what God wants to do with you and what he wants to offer you. Who knows what is in store for you when you go about finding God in nature!
“The contemplation of creation allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us.”
– Pope Francis in Laudato Si’