I don't like sitting at a desk. I don't like artificial lighting. I don't like windowless rooms. When I'm inside, my prayer times often seem hollow, rushed, and contrived, whereas when I'm out in the woods, my prayers seem natural and unforced.
Why is that?
This past Sunday I was preaching from Psalm 98 and I began to understand. This Psalm starts out with the command: Sing a new song to the Lord, for He has done wonderful deeds. Verses 7-8 go on to say this:
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the earth and all living things join in.
Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
I think they have already begun to sing, and I think when you stop and listen, you can hear it.
The mountains themselves shout, "Look at what the Creator has done!" On Palm Sunday, when the religious leaders were rebuking Jesus' followers for making too much noise praising Him, Jesus told them, "If they don't do it, the very rocks will shout out praise." The unfortunate thing seems to be that the rocks themselves are faithfully shouting out His praise in our place.
And when I get out in nature, I can hear it, see it, experience it.
The other part is that I slow down. We weren't made to experience God while we're going 10,000 miles per hour in specialized vehicles of our own creation. We were meant to walk alongside Him, surrounded by His creation, stuff that we can't even claim to have made, reminders that there's something (Someone) out there bigger than we are.
It's not supposed to be a reminder of how small we are, but rather a reminder of how BIG our God is. And to realize that we are loved and cherished by a God that big...