God and the Outdoors
Being and avid hunter and fisherman, I have an opportunity to associate with a lot of people with a love for the outdoor lifestyle.
One interesting trait that I have observed is that a lot of these people, including myself, are devout believers in God.
If you stop to think about it, it should really come as no surprise that religious people gravitate to the natural world. After all, God created all of it, and he created it for our enjoyment.
Nothing that man has made or will ever make can come close to the beauty that God has created in the mountains, deserts, streams, plants and animals. I also believe that he not only create all of this beauty for our pleasure, but also as a witness to his very existence.
How can anyone who has seen a sunset bursting with colors that cannot be justly duplicated by the even the best photographer not believe that a higher being must have created it? How can anyone who has seen the ocean, teaming with countless species of fish and animals, each with their own purpose and responsibility in the chain of life, even remotely consider the theory that all life evolved from an organism that crawled from the mud billions of years ago?
How can anyone who has seen Geese flying south for the winter, returning to the same spot hundreds of miles away every year, think that God can not possibly exist? How can anyone who has seen Salmon returning to spawn in the same stream in which they were born consider anything other than creation as an explanation of its existence.
Can anyone use the Big Bang theory to tell us how or why all the life on this planet is so perfectly intertwined and dependent on each other?
I have often heard people try to explain why they don’t believe in God by using the excuse of “I can’t believe in something that I can not see.” That is precisely why God made the earth such a fascinating and wonderful place. So that we could see his creation and realize that it could only have happened by his magnificent power.
We might not be able to see him in the flesh, but one only need look to nature to prove his existence. When I see the natural wonders of the earth, whether during a simple early morning walk through the woods, or an extended visit to a pristine wilderness area like we experienced last week, I can not help but be even more convinced that a higher being must have created all of this indescribable beauty, and I try to fathom how much magnificence and wonder is ahead of us in Heaven.
I often feel sorry for people that spend their whole lives whole pursuing material wealth and belongings and not being able to take time out of their lives to enjoy the outdoors.
They seem to measure the success of their lives by how many “things” they can accumulate. My most treasured possessions are not cars, homes, gold or silver. They are the memories of my youth in Illinois. I can honestly say that I had either a fishing pole or shotgun in my hand almost everyday of my life when I was a kid.
That makes for a lot precious memories that seem like they happened just yesterday; almost all of them having some connection to the outdoor way of life. I believe that people who spend a lot of time outdoors, tend to have fonder memories and enjoy telling others about them.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
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.
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”