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Cathedral of the Outdoors

The first thing we learn about God from the Bible is that he is the Creator, the one who makes everything from nothing. After each phase of creation—light, sky, land, water, plants, animals, and humans—God stops for a moment to survey his work with delight, calling it “good” and finally “very good.”

Everything that we see in nature owes its existence to God, who is the only Being capable of creating something from nothing. Genesis 1 and 2 tell the story of creation from two different points of view. The first chapter paints the big picture from God’s perspective and the second from the human perspective. Though neither example of creation provides a scientific explanation of the origins of the universe, both affirm that the universe and all that is in it was created by God.  Genesis raises human beings in nature as the pinnacle of creation, indicating that we are made in the image of God.

Psalms 19:1 tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God” and Romans1:20 points out the fact that through the created world, everyone “can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature,” leaving us with no excuse for ignoring God in nature.

Have you ever thought of a wilderness retreat center as a cathedral for worship? God so much wants our hearts, and a wilderness retreat center can become a sacred space to praise and worship him. The Bible shows us a simple path on which to hike and a wilderness retreat center provides us a noticeable path. Worshiping God is that path. Time after time we see throughout the Scripture that the wide open spaces of God’s Creation seen through a wilderness retreat center are meant to be a cathedrals for worship.

Creation displays a powerful, diverse, and awe-inspiring beauty and a wilderness retreat center affords us the opportunity to view all of Gods Glory. Creation points to God’s power, love for diversity, and His worthiness of our worship. The wilderness retreat center elicits humility in authentic seekers, and it invites anyone who wants to know God into a chorus of awesome worship where the sun, moon, stars, and every living Creature reminds us of the Creator.  The Apostle Paul lays out this simple reminder:

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 men are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

One of the reasons to to visit a wilderness retreat center is that by taking time out in God’s creation, you are traveling a path that leads into an opportunity to experience freedom through exposure. We leave the city pridefully thinking we are complete. Yet after a short time in the wilderness retreat center, we are faced with our fragility, and those who are wise enough start begging their Maker for forgiveness and freedom from themselves. God has made his existence and character plain to us, and the design of His Creation found at the wilderness retreat center wins every argument against any prideful arrogant soul. Those who are wise, when confronted with the message of the wilderness retreat center, agree to their need for the antidote of grace, and bow their knee to their Maker.

The Bible shows us the simple path toward joy. This path is worship. Time after time we see throughout the Scripture that the wide open spaces of God’s glorious Creation are meant to be cathedrals for worship. Listen to these grace-filled words about the spacious places God has made:

“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.”  (Job 36:16)

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)

“You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.” (Psalm 31:8)

Have you ever noticed your mood when it’s a beautiful day outside? You have more energy, you’re smiling and laughing, and you feel like giving random people high fives in the halls at work. It’s almost as if you are a new person coming out of hibernation to enjoy the spring weather. Sometimes it takes a cold and bitter winter for us to really appreciate the beauty of spring. Just like Jesus’ resurrection, spring is a season of new life. Jesus had to endure terrible darkness leading up to His resurrection to bring us freedom and restoration.

I love how nature and the outdoors of a wilderness retreat center represent so much of what Jesus embodies. Everywhere you turn at the wilderness retreat center you can see God’s work. It may be as big as the Grand Canyon or as small as the dandelion growing in the crack of a side walk. There is beauty in both, and everything between.  Taking time to be at a wilderness retreat center may be one of the best ways to connect with God, but it’s scientifically proven to improve your overall health!

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