… in the wonder of nature
It had been a very testing couple of years. Unfortunate combinations of work challenges and life events had left us feeling thoroughly battered and bruised! But whenever it seemed things couldn't get much worse, through the shadows of lost perspective a light would appear and guide us to a happier place.
Looking back over this troubled period, we had often allowed ourselves to succumb to the uncertainties of living in a complex, fast-paced world. Each time, it seemed, we had made the mistake of failing to stop and consider what was truly important, what really mattered, and not just what seemed important at the time. Somehow we had allowed our hearts to fill with unnecessary anguish, only to lose context and suffer the inevitable consequences.
However, in amongst all the uncertainty and worry, there were times when God's presence was felt in unexpected but, on reflection, very recognisable ways. I recall one particularly powerful occasion. It was glorious springtime and we were some hours into a long walk in the beautiful West Sussex countryside when I was inexplicably overcome with a transient sense of calmness, clarity and joy. It was a very real sensation and I am not sure what prompted it, but I think it was no coincidence that I had just stopped to marvel at what was all around me – at nature's unrelenting beauty – new life in all its forms. I wondered about this unusual experience for the rest of the day, concluding that God had revealed Himself to me through His creation. Simply by taking time to marvel at nature I had allowed Him into my life and, by doing so, much needed light-giving context was restored.