#2 How to feed the soul and live a more creative life.... Get Outdoors

"The scientific community is also discovering the outdoors as a divine elixir.  Researchers at the University of Michigan determined that participants' memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after an hour of interacting with nature.  They also discovered the benefits of the outdoors were the same whether the temperature was 80 degrees and sunny or 25 degrees and frigid......Scientists in Sweden found that joggers who exercise in settings with trees and landscape views felt more rejuvenated and wrestled with fewer bouts of anxiety, anger or depression than those who completed the same exercise regimen in an urban setting.  An Australian researcher believes the sudden skyrocket in nearsightedness-myopia-among youth is due to young people spending less time outdoors where their eyes learn to focus on longer distances."  Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg, pg. 50

     "In Richard Louv's book 'The Nature Principle,' he points out that for the first time in history, more than half of the world's population lives in towns and cities rather than more rural environments.  The traditional ways humans interacted with creation are disappearing.  As we enter the age of electronic connectivity, we're becoming less connected to our natural environment.  The result is that many of us are suffering from nature-deficit disorder, which he defines as "an atrophied awareness, a diminished ability to find meaning in the life that surrounds us, whatever form it takes."  He argues this reduction in our lives has a direct impact on our physical, mental, and societal health."  Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg pg. 51

If our physical lives are so affected, isn't our spiritual being as affected as well?  "What if the reduction in time spent outdoors impacts our relationship with God and the restorative work he wants to do in our lives?  Spending time outdoors has a way of shifting our perspective from inward to outward as we see the delicacies and intricacies of God's creation....One of the great wonders of creation is that God uses our natural world to alert us to his presence....God reveals his nature--in nature - All-powerful, wildly creative, infinitely wise, God is the supreme ruler.  His throne isn't founded in suspicion or threat but blessing and celebration.  Creation divulges the goodness of God as he declares the good, good, good of creation...Unlike other religions attempting to find guidance amidst the stars of the sky or the fear of the unknown, our God hangs stars, slings comets, and designs sea creatures.  Apart from him, they do not exist.....if God spoke creation into existence, should we be surprised when creation speaks back to us about God?"  Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg

If God can create nature, and we thrive better in nature, how much more can God heal and restore us if we take time in nature?  "If God creates such exquisiteness, how much more magnificent is the Creator?  Even the most spectacular displays in the cosmos only hint at the splendor of God; the deepest insights into nature are shallow observations compared to the depth of the nature of God.  Creation awakens me to God, inviting me to attune my senses to his presence and voice.  The wonder of creation in every encounter illuminates something about God."  Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg pg. 55

"For since the creation of the world
God''s invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."  Romans 1:20

In the cycle from summer to fall, the leaves could have just turned brown and fallen off the tree.  There is no scientific reason for them to turn colors as they lose their chlorophyl.  The only reason is our God who loves to do things for our pure enjoyment and delight.
"Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;  let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.  Let all creation rejoice before the Lord!  Psalm 96:12,13


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