By B. Chase Wall
When people think of finding God, I think most people think of church. Personally, I have found God outside of church; He is everywhere. One place that I have always been able to find God is in nature. The outdoors have always been an important part of my life. Throughout my childhood, my parents always made sure to get my brother and me involved in outdoor activities. Because of this, nature is such an important part of my life today.
As I’ve gotten older, I have noticed so many benefits to being outdoors. For example, the fresh air can make a person feel better and being outside can lighten a person’s mood. The most essential realization I’ve had about being outdoors is that I can find God there and feel closer to Him.
Just walking outside does not quite do it, however. Sometimes, I have to look a little and patiently wait. I find, though, that when I am looking for God, I usually find Him or at least a hint of Him in the things that He has created. For example, I live in the woods and get to experience a lot of the beauty He has created in nature. I always feel closer to God when the sun warms my back as I walk down to take care of my horses in the morning. I always stop and take a moment to simply absorb the warmth; it instantly brings a smile to my face. This is definitely one thing that has made me feel closer to God. It makes me realize all of the beauty that He has created for us, like the sunset through the trees at dusk and the moon shining bright at night.
This may not work for everyone, but if anyone is looking for God, one place I suggest looking is in nature. Go for a walk near a river, sit and watch the sun set or rise, or even dance in the pouring rain. Trust me, you’ll start to realize how much beauty is in this world naturally and all that God has created for us. Unfortunately, nature is sometimes unappreciated, especially in this day and age. People often forget how spectacular nature is and all it has to offer.
One thing that I have started doing is taking my dog for walks down at a river in my town. While it tends to be busy at the start of the trail, the deeper we go into the trees, the quieter it gets. I notice more of God’s creations and their beauties here from the trees growing strong to the river flowing smoothly. I find a lot of peace when I do this and I owe this feeling to God; I could not enjoy any of it without His work. It is hard not to feel God’s love when you feel the sun warming your back or the wind blowing gently through your hair. Even when I find myself caught in rain storms, I take a moment to just enjoy the moment and how much peace I feel. Sure, afterwards when I am soaking wet and sniffling I may not feel very peaceful. But still, every time I get caught in a rain storm, I feel closer to God. God has created a lot of delightful things in this world, from wild flowers to amazing canyons, and it is all there for us to appreciate if we only take the time to do so.