When did nature become unimportant in our lives?

Deer outside my window.

Deer outside my window.

I know that nature shows on TV are popular today and many of us enjoy watching them.  That’s not my question.  When was the last time we paid attention to nature?  Do we stop to marvel at flowers anymore or be fascinated with how a spider makes a web outside our front door?  Does sunrise and sunset still cause us to pause? What does a sunrise suggest to you of who God is?

If nature doesn’t fascinate us, the problem isn’t nature’s. 

It is impressive to see how prayer opens one’s eyes to nature. Prayer makes men [and women] contemplative and attentive. In place of manipulating, the man who prays stands receptive before the world.  He no longer grabs but caresses, he no longer bites, but kisses, he no longer examines but admires.  To this man, as for Merton, nature can show itself completely renewed.  Instead of an obstacle, it becomes a way; instead of a vulnerable shield, it becomes a veil which gives a preview of unknown horizons.”          – from Thomas Merton: Contemplative Critic

The man or woman who prays is receptive before the world. Now, of course, the world can meet many things in this paragraph, but the posture is worth noting:  The one who thinks and recognizes God is the one who is open to what is around him or her.  Our heads are down (mine is now) typing or playing away while a spider creates a one-of-kind web just outside the window to the left. Ten meters beyond that, two humming birds battle for position at a flowering bush, which borders an Asiatic Lilly with red flowers that shout beauty.

One of the disappointing thing that technology has done is create a disposable world on top of one that screams for us to slow down, to reflect deeply, to consider God’s power and care, and to learn … if we’re receptive … if we make time … if we look.



  • Neels

    I think part of the problem is that we accept nature as a ‘given'; we tend to take creation for granted. Thank you for the post, it really made me think!