We often allude to the beauty and revelation of the outdoors…that they speak of a Eden we’ve never known, but somehow know we were created for. Romans 1:20 says God’s divine attributes, invisible qualities and eternal power are clearly seen and understood through all that has been made. Creation reveals the heart of God. Through my ever-growing knowledge and understanding of the ways in which God is revealed in my outdoor excursions, I find myself meeting Him there more often…and there is more than meets the eye to what can be taken away from our time in the field. Enjoy the following excerpt from The Way of The Wild Heart, by John Eldredge.
There is a humility and a seasoned wisdom to be learned in the natural world, as they are learned no other place.
One of the great lessons nature has for us…there is a way things work. You cannot simply walk through this world any old way you want. Turn a canoe sideways and it will tip. Approach an elk upwind and it will spook. Run your hand along the grain of wood and you'll get a splinter. There is a way things work. Oh, what a crucial lesson this is for a man. In the realm of nature, you can't just order room service, or change the channel, or write a new program to solve your problems. You can't ignore the way things work. You must be taught by it. Humility and wisdom come to a man when he learns those ways, and learns to live his life accordingly.
So, yes, I am saying that an encounter with the natural world-the world God set us in-is essential for masculine initiation. I'm not saying that every man needs to love to fish and hunt. But yes-there are things to learn through nature, lessons that simply cannot be learned anywhere else. It might be out on the open sea. It might take place bicycling through farmlands. Does this mean that a man who loves the city cannot enter into masculine initiation and maturity? Not at all. C. S. Lewis was not an outdoorsman. He spent his days with books, in the academies of England. But I find it important that he felt his day was never complete without a walk outside. Not a fifty-mile backpacking trip. A walk in the woods. Time spent in the field.
It's worth a try, and I'll guarantee God will meet you there, if you'll let him.