I've been suspiciously absent for the last few weeks. So much has happened! I spent a couple of great days in sunny California a few weeks ago with Rob Bell and Richard Rohr, which was incredible! I'm sure I'll share a lot about that later. I've successfully made it this far without coffee, including the end of one term and the beginning of another, two seasons that usually need high voltage caffeine. I also picked up a mountain bike and rekindled a love for that discipline of cycling. It's been a good bit of fun lately!
I read a book while I was on break that really inspired me deeply. It's called The Making of an Ordinary Saint. athan Foster does a great job of bringing the 12 Spiritual Disciplines down to earth, making it easier to grasp in an every day kind of life. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
One of the Spiritual Disciplines is the discipline of study. We're meant to study the two great books: The Scriptures, and Nature. So for the last couple of days, as the term opened up and a whole lot of study time has presented itself, I've been trying to balance both. Every hour spent reading for school (which, in the idealist situation, points me into the Scriptures) is balanced with an hour outside, on a bike, taking a walk, something. Sometimes I even go for a daily double by reading outside, sitting on our little porch beside our house.
A couple of days ago a friend of mine took me on a walk in between classes through the park. This friend knew a few trails that I didn't, so I was happy to go with him and scout some possible mountain bike terrain. This friend however is a bird watcher, and so spent the walk pointing out different species, and how we could tell the difference between different species. I had a blast! I learned things that there was no hope for me to ever know on my own. How many different types of woodpeckers there are for instance. Holy cow!
But I think that was the difference between just being outside, sitting around outside of your house, and actually engaging in the discipline of studying nature. There's something awesome about engaging with nature, learning about it, and seeing the incredibly detailed way God brought creation together. God spoke to me through His creation, which led me to wonder how frequently God is speaking to me and I'm just not paying attention.
So spend some time studying the creation today. Go outside and notice a detail that you never would have found before. God is speaking, do we have ears to hear?