Nature inspires. It only takes a moment — the moment we see something absolutely outside the bounds of our imagination. God made this. And God gave us this moment to bear witness to this death-defying, awe-inspiring natural cycle of life. Life renews itself and while we are mortal, we still participate in the eternal every day. Little deaths, small rebirths, quiet healings beneath our skin. God at work, in nature, in us. Transformation, resurrection, hope. “All creation waits in eager expectation…”
So what are your plans for the summer? Will you pitch a tent in the great wide open? Sleep a night under the stars? Scale a mountain, cross a river, ride the waves, hop in a car… to drive for miles to chase the sunset, find yourself beneath a tree older than our history? This is America and we have a lot to see.
But the good news is, we don’t have to go far at all to experience gratitude in the great outdoors. There are living breathing reasons to hope all around us, beginning in your own backyard. I live in a city and I continue to be amazed at the amount of wildlife I’ve spotted this year, a red tail hawk perched on my fence looking for rabbits, two owls talking in the trees out back, countless squirrels eyeing my newly planted garden. I can even hear frogs from some yet to be identified water source nearby. Which of my neighbors is hiding a tiny pond in their backyard?
Every single interaction with another living creature has the potential to inspire awe and wonder, in humans and animals alike. And with our fantastic National Park system, and state and local metro parks, we truly are invited to live life more abundantly. This is the gift of the great outdoors and it’s Christmas in July, if we just go outside.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.Isaiah 55:12
For week 23 of Reasons to Hope, we’re talking with someone who found hope, healing and gratitude in the great outdoors, hiking over 2,000 miles along the Appalachian Trail. She was recently my guest on the brand new podcast, Hope Is My Middle Name, and we’re thrilled to welcome Brittany Comins to Reasons to Hope today.
Join us at 3pm ET on Instagram Live and post with the hashtag #reasonstohope. We want to know, what’s giving you Reasons to Hope today?
We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 22 weeks now, but it’s never too late to join us! Here’s all you need to get started.