A geek should find time to be with nature. Maybe it’s because I was brought up by an avid outdoorsman, but I need my moments out in the trees, in the mountains, or by the shoals of a slow river. Some experiences just aren’t the same through a console controller. Maybe have your own Breath of the Wild adventure once in a while, eh?
(Just don’t ask me how many hours I’ve sunk into that game…)
My favorite time to admire God’s earth is autumn. I know the historical reasons we celebrate Thanksgiving in November, but there’s something in the season that prompts thankfulness, too. We have this juxtaposition of plenty and scarcity: The harvests come in, but the earth goes bare. We take time to remember what we have while nature lies dormant around us.
On a particular October weekend, I found a seat on a rock just a ways from the local greenbelt, overlooking the ridge down onto the river. The day was mild with no breeze and a surprisingly warm 60 degrees high. I ate a packed lunch and rested with the sounds of crickets, water, and wind around me. I sat long enough to begin noticing the subtler details in my surroundings: Different hues in a single yellowed leaf, the way ripples moved down the river, and the gem-like glimmer of sunshine on water. I thought to myself, “God created everything to work in this exact way. A marriage of beauty and function.”
And this prompted me to gratitude.
There are times when we have everything we want. There are times we have only our barest needs. Sometimes we fear even our needs may not be met. We are commanded to be thankful regardless. It’s more than mere gratefulness, I think. I can’t look at the intricacies of the created world and think God doesn’t know what He’s doing. Can I look at my own needs and think any differently?
When the breeze blows, the leaves on the trees tremble at its presence. Yet eventually, they still let go. There’s an inherent, biological understanding this season of nothing will give way again to a season of life. My scientific understanding may only be surface level (Bachelor of Arts, dude), but mercifully Jesus spoke in layman’s terms:
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” – Luke 12:27-31
The opposite of worry, I think, is contentment. I need this lesson daily, and taking a moment in nature reminds me how totally I am provided for. Even in a broken, marred world, our God holds all the molecules of the universe together to service our needs. I can look at the water which replenishes and the flora which gives us the air we breathe, and I can be thankful.
I mean, Link went out into the world in nothing but sleep shorts, and he never worried about going without. How much more does our Father care for us than game developers for their protagonists?
Happy Thanksgiving, fellow geeks.