The Great Outdoors

by Nov 12, 2020Uncategorized, Wilderness Ministry0 comments

What draws people to the outdoors? What causes the desire that wells up inside of them? How can you do something repeatedly and still experience the same thrill, the same joy? To some people it looks like just another mountain, just another river, or simply, more rocks. But for the one who experiences God’s creation on a regular basis, or for first timers, it is so much more than that.

Each moment outdoors, for me, is an experience, one you simply cannot get from inside. Sometimes it’s as simple as a short hike, or an afternoon of bouldering. Other times, it’s a day hike up a new fourteener, or rafting a stretch of river I’ve yet to discover. The point is it never gets old. When I try to explain the pure joy the wilderness brings me, I’m often not doing it justice. After all, the God who made all things, the one who designed our bodies and placed the stars in the galaxies is the very same God who painted that mountain you’re gazing at. He’s the same God who fills the river with rushing water every day. The one who forms each snowflake, and the one who sends that cool breeze as you stand in the sun.

What can I say, I’m a romantic. I’m all about the experience.

I’m that person who becomes overwhelmed with awe from a simple day of climbing with friends. So much so, that I’ll run off by lonesome to sit on a rock and gaze at the stream, just for a moment, just to simply take it all in. The laughter floating through the air as it gets lost in the gurgling of a nearby stream. How the sun feels on my cheek and the tingle of chill across my back from the soft breeze that has come to visit me. The shaky exhilaration of climbing further up, not sure where your next hold is and the freeness of being as tall as the trees. The feeling from a good sweat and grumbling tummy that reminds you it’s time to head back and eat. The sun setting over the mountains as we all climb out of the valley and call it a day.

A normal person would have described this day for what it was: we went climbing all day with friends and then headed back home to eat.

But I’m all about the experience.

Perhaps that’s the greatest joy of the great outdoors; it helps you refocus on the experience. I get lost, too often, in the to do lists and schedules. Before I know it, the day is over, and I don’t really recall what happened. This is never the case when I’m outside. When I’m outside my focus is narrow: make it to the top of the mountain in front of you, hit the next wave, reach for the next hold. With such a singular focus, it resets me, reminds me of the here and now. The sun, the laughter, the feel of the water on my face, the ache in my muscles as I reach for the last few steps. It’s all about the experience.

Why do you love the great outdoors?

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