“The purpose of meditation is to enable us to hear God more clearly. Meditation is listening, sensing, heeding the life and light of Christ. This comes right to the heart of our faith.” –Richard Foster
In silence we made the steady climb up the Appalachian Trail. The cadence of our footsteps was accompanied only by the wind through the pine and poplar trees. Above, the sky was clear and blue, disturbed only by the wispy white trails marking the jet stream. Below, dappled sunlight bathed our path in the golden hues of autumn.
As the traffic noise from Route 319 fell away, so did my anxiety about the eight mile hike. My husband’s long stride and fast pace always put him several feet in front of me so for the most part, I was alone with my thoughts.
With the everyday noise and distractions of life stripped away, I became acutely aware of God’s presence. Amid the beauty of Appalachia, Romans 1:20 played out in real time, as I began to meditate on “His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen since the creation of the world.”
Richard Foster describes meditation in creation as a type of “contemplative prayer… a majestic monotheism in which the great Creator of the universe shows us something of his glory through his creation.”
The glory of creation is a perfect setting for the Lord’s guidance. No matter where I have lived in the world, I have found this to be so. Whether it be majestic mountains, desert dunes, cliff-lined coasts, astounding sunrises and sunsets, or a dark night sky strewn with a million stars, God speaks through His creative majesty.
Wherever God has sent you to serve, I encourage you to seek out a place of refuge in your natural surroundings. Contemplation will bring clarity as God guides your thoughts. Perhaps the burdens you carry will lighten and you, like me, will be humbled and renewed in purpose and calling. After all, if He can, with a word, create such unimaginable beauty, what can he not do in our own lives?
“Meditation sends us into our ordinary world with greater perspective and balance.” –Richard Foster
Sometimes we can get so familiar with our surroundings that we overlook the majesty of God’s creative power in the world. I encourage you to take some time today to look around. In what ways are you able to observe the glory of God and the work of His hands?