As a boy, I read my brother’s Boy Scout book. I was fascinated by the book—the idea of cooking on an open fire, identifying trees, identifying edible plants, reading the night sky, tracking animals, and just being in the wonderful world of God’s creation.
The Bible tells us, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, KJV). Your spiritual stability is achieved by staying close to God’s creation! How much time do I spend exploring creation versus playing games, watching TV, or exploring the internet? The average youth today spends 31 hours a week on the internet.
Yet, it’s not enough just to explore God’s creation; we must understand it. Consider the eight points below:
1) Most liquids contract (decrease in volume) as they cool and freeze. When pure water cools below 39?F however, it expands until it freezes at 32?F. Because of ice’s low density, it floats on water instead of sinking. Without this property, ice would form on the bottom, rather than on the top, of lakes and rivers. Without this unique property, the earth would be uninhabitable for mankind.
2) Rain is a part of a process known as the hydrologic cycle. This process begins with the evaporation of water from the surface of the earth—mostly from the ocean. When ocean water evaporates, the deadly salt water remains in the ocean. The water vapor condenses, forming clouds of liquid droplets. The golden droplets are then carried away by clouds. Eventually, they fall to the surface as precipitation. Much of the precipitation that falls on continents eventually flows in rivers into the ocean. The process then repeats itself.
3) The sun gives off a steady and constant supply of energy. Many other stars do not give off steady amounts of energy. We can be thankful that our sun does not behave as those stars do. If the sun were to increase its output of energy by a fairly small amount, the snow in the Antarctic regions would melt. Then the oceans would rise about 100 feet. If that happened, one fourth of the people on earth would be flooded out of their homes.
4) Photosynthesis provides oxygen for all living organisms. All living animals, including humans, breathe out carbon dioxide. All green plant life takes in this carbon dioxide and in return gives to us fresh oxygen. Without the activities of leaves, the earth’s supply of breathable oxygen would soon be used up.
5) Tides are caused chiefly by the gravitational pull of the moon on Earth. Without this force our oceans and large bodies of water would stagnate and all sea life would die.
6) The earth travels around the sun at a speed of 64,000 miles per hour. From the time you go to bed till the time you get up in the morning, you have traveled over a half million miles on this tiny space shuttle called Planet Earth.
7) As the fall season approaches the trees begin to prepare for the long winter season by retaining moisture, the leaves soon begin to turn. The bright golds and reds create the beauty of the fall season.
8) Snow is part of God’s wise provision for living things. The winter snowfall forms a blanket over the colder parts of the earth. It protects plants and animals by insulating them from the winter air. With the return of warmer temperatures in the spring, the blanket of snow melts to provide the water needed by germinating seeds.
One of the things that happens when you get close to God’s creation and the great outdoors is that you are struck by God’s awesomeness compared to man’s frailty. David put it this way: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:3-4, KJV). I think David realized the benefit of comparing himself to the beauty of a starlit night. The experience was humbling, and humility is something that we all need in a world that promotes self-sufficiency. The first time I flew commercial airlines it was a humbling experience for me. The view from a plane looking down gives you a whole different perspective. For me it was the awareness that God knows me. Though there are billions of people on the earth, God knows me! How could He? The experience of flying allowed me to see things from a different perspective, as God sees.
The Bible says, “The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein” (Psalms 111:2, KJV). Another translation says, “Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them” (ESV). How much pleasure do you get from being in the great outdoors? Not everybody does! How much do you delight in studying creation?
Make an investment; spend some money on things that will enable you to get closer to God—hiking, canoeing, mountain climbing, camping, boating, fishing, etc. Take the time to discover the foundation of creation; the Master creator will never let you down.