What comes to your mind when you hear the word “creation”? For some people, they think about how science relates to faith. For others, they think about the different theories of how the world came to be. And for others, they think about the complex design of human life.
One thought that rarely comes to our mind, however, is how little of the creation we encounter. When God made the world, he declared it to be “good” (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25), and in declaring it to be good, he intended that he would take pleasure in it. But how rarely we take pleasure in God’s creation.
We are so used to the technological society that we fail to appreciate how good God’s creation is for us. We have manicured Edenic lawns that we seek to maintain without the cursed weeds. We have the mindset of “easy everything” (to borrow a phrase from Andy Crouch), where at the press of a button we can connect with someone far away, have a finely crafted cup of coffee, or amuse and distract ourselves with entertainment. We technologize everything to make our lives easy, but increasingly find ourselves stressed out and overwhelmed. Our pockets buzz and our attention is distracted by a text, social media update, or an impending shipment headed our way.
Yes, creation is good. But how is it good for you? In urban and suburban life, we forget that the manicured, techno-designed world is not natural. The noise of traffic, urban light pollution, the rumble of lawn-mower or snow-blower engines, the hum of a refrigeration unit – these are the noises of humanity that do not quiet our souls. God intended that we take pleasure in the world he created.
Charles Spurgeon, a Baptist pastor who lived in the urban hustle of London England in the 19th century, reflected upon the need for the soul to be quieted, refreshed, and restored by enjoying God’s creation. Speaking to the pastors he was training, Spurgeon said,
He who forgets the humming of the bees among the heather, the cooing of the wood-pigeons in the forest, the song of birds in the woods, the rippling of rills among the rushes, and the sighing of the wind among the pines, needs not wonder if his heart forgets to sing and his soul grows heavy. A day’s breathing of fresh air upon the hills, or a few hours, ramble in the beech woods’ umbrageous calm, would sweep the cobwebs out of the brain of scores of our toiling ministers who are now but half alive. A mouthful of sea air, or a stiff walk in the wind’s face, would not give grace to the soul, but it would yield oxygen to the body, which is next best.*
Is it any wonder David would say, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul” (Ps. 23:2)?
Creation is more than a doctrine to defend; it’s a good gift from God to enjoy. As the autumn leaves change colour, and as the temperatures cool, find ways to have your soul restored.
Thankful for His good creation,
*Quote taken from C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, Christian Focus Publications, p. 182).