Progressive Patterns

The bigger garden

How good and how pleasant it is

to walk among the roses in the garden,

to behold the corn reaching skyward,

to pick and eat the strawberries.

It is good to rejoice in the patch

that we have made fruitful and beautiful.

The parks, the greenways, even the golf courses,

are blessings form God molded by man.

But we need time away from all that.

We need time and space alone with God.

We need a chronological and geographical Sabbath

to survey His works

to comprehend the scale of infinity

and the size of endlessness.

The wilderness of mountains and sky,

woodlands and lakes networked by trails

and domed each night with stars and galaxies

is as close as we can get right now

to God's home,

to God's parks,

to a foretaste of Eden restored.

In the wilderness there are no fences,

there are no confining boundaries

that shrink our awareness

to the small and to the manageable.

Miles upon miles of open meadows

and horizons filled by blanketing forests

reveal a Creator who thinks orders of magnitude bigger

than our largest imagination.

Never ending nature,

both in its geography and its cycles,

testifies to a beautiful Spirit

and a life-giving Power

who is everywhere present—

ever near and ever far.

The heart and soul expand in the expanse.

Higher, deeper, greater than our most powerful thoughts

is the love of the universal Father for His children.

In the wilderness, away from human concoction,

we experience more fully the glorious love of our Creator.

The contradictory forces of nature must be interpreted and filtered. Only God through His word can do that. When we understand we become a little bit more united in Christ.

So far, half of the miles I have walked have been dreary, desolate burn with gray and black spars everywhere. Yet, the pleasant aroma of an unnamed bush I almost always see after a fire fills the air. So it is in my desolate life. The Spirit leads with the fragrance of redemption and brings in beauty right from the beginning while the work of restoration takes place.

God originally formed the earth to be a garden, a nature preserve, a park of glory and wonder. The more we attempt to return to that original ideal, whether it be through hiking, camping, gardening, farming, or whatever, the more we begin to appreciate our Creator and become molded into His image.