Up until 75 years ago most Americans lived in close contact with nature on a daily basis. Far more of us lived in rural communities, farming and raising livestock. We spent our evenings outdoors watching the sunset, listening to crickets and marveling at fireflies. But today we’re tethered to our electronics morning, noon and night. And for most of us, our children are leading the way into the all-consuming world of digital living. For most Christians, Romans 1:18-32 is a familiar text. In the midst of a world that seems to be collapsing morally a little more each day we rush through verses 18-21 in our headlong dash to verses 22-32 which offer insight into what’s happening to our culture.
But I want to draw your attention instead to verse 18-21. I want you read those verses several times, linger there for a moment and allow Paul’s words to sink in. He suggests that if we take the time to look around at God’s creation, we can’t help but see the Creator behind such magnificent beauty. If we take a look at pelicans and peacocks, elephants and eels, giraffes and gorillas our hearts have to pause in wonder. As we gaze up from a rural hillside at the myriad of stars overhead far from the light pollution of the city we can’t help but be amazed at God’s creation.
When Jane and I began homeschooling more than 35 years ago, she would often take the girls to the park or woods or to a nearby lake or stream for the day. They would read there, do their math, work on art, write poetry, develop their nature journal there and more. Set within the context of God’s creation the subject of His creativity and His plan for our lives was almost unavoidable.
Today with online learning, Chromebooks and Ipods, Ipads and Iphones, Google and cable television our children see almost exclusively what man has made–and often the very worst of what man has made at that. Rarely do they see what God has made.
I want to encourage you to get outside as often as possible. Dress warmly and go for a walk on a snowy day. Go to the beach or walk in the woods. Take family camping trips on the weekend or just go out in the backyard to do schoolwork. Perhaps no other emotion is more helpful for young minds than wonder. Let them be awed by an ant colony or a beehive or 10,000 acorns falling from a tree that may someday become mighty oaks. Let them watch birds or fish or butterflies and allow the awe and wonder to soak into their souls.
You’ll be amazed at how much learning goes on in that environment: science, Bible, history, art, poetry, literature and more. Linger in God’s magnificent creation at least once or twice each week and see how your homeschool experience begins to change. Watch as your children begin to grow spiritual eyes that can see the Creator who lurks behind the Creation.
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made.” Romans 1:20a
Ask the Lord to open the eyes, mind and heart of your children and then let them soak in His creation. The results will amaze you.