An Ache for Acres

For a season of life, my family and I lived smack in the middle of 234 acres. At the time I detested our country life complete with washboard roads and the absence of neighbors. However, upon living in an urban context where square footage costs an exorbitant amount and yards are often small patches of Astro turf, I find myself aching for acres which can be hard to come by in San Diego.

Since moving here, I have felt an almost magnetic pull to the Regional Park a few miles from our home. The more achy, shakey or stressed my soul, the stronger the pull to be outdoors. Something about acre upon acre of undeveloped (if you don’t count the trails) land does something for an aching soul.

Every Heart & Acre

Today I left vented rooms
And opted for air instead:
Crisp and clean and free,
Breezes swept my head.

The scrub brush scolded me,
With its scruff demeanor:
“You worry, but look at me
Sustained though meaner.”

Bushes bright with berries,
Unblushingly exhibit fruit,
“In due season all will blossom
When vitally fed by The root.”

The chilly winds awoke
An anesthetized hope in me,
“He who carries these birds
Will certainly carry thee.”

Invisible air expertly shows
What God-made-visible tells,
In Him we live and walk about,
“He is God!” all creation yells.

“Rest and ride, stay and abide,
Trust the trustworthy Maker.”
The Triune One expertly keeps
Every heart and every acre.

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Nature and the natural world are gifts of common grace, available to any and all, no matter their belief system. That being said, the Christian’s experience in and enjoyment of nature is markedly different than the pantheist or panentheist’s experience. In pantheism, all is god, while in panentheism god is in all things.

C.S. Lewis aptly describes the Christian’s view of Nature in his book Miracles. 

“Only Supernaturalists really see Nature. You must go a little away from her, and then turn around, and look back. Then at last the true landscape will become visible. You must have tasted, however briefly, the pure water from beyond the world before you can be distinctly conscious of the hot, salty tang of Nature’s current. To treat her as God, or as Everything, is to lose the whole pith and pleasure of her….Nature is being lit up by a light from beyond Nature. Someone is speaking who knows more about her than can be known from inside her” (emphasis mine).

Being in Nature, the lower creation seems to teach me, the higher creation, what I desperately need to be reminded about our shared Creator. Nature is not everything, but She sure is a sweet pointer to the One who lights her up from beyond. The same Jesus who taught His friends using the lily of the field and the flitting sparrows still opens up acre upon acre as His classroom to willing students. We need only step out and take a seat.

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