Do you ever get the feeling that you spend too much time inside?
Some of my best childhood memories consist of tree forts, riding my bike to the local park, playing in the creek, and other outdoor adventures. Today, as a father of three young kids, I smile to see them so eager to spend their after school time playing outside. At the same time, I realize that most of my time is now spent indoors—not just because of work, but because that’s how I often choose to spend much of my evening hours.
The average American spends 5 hours a day watching television. FIVE HOURS! I have to admit that when I first heard this statistic my initial thought was to wonder who has 9+ hours of spare time each day to make up for my less than 1 hour-a-day average. But it’s far too easy to blame some anonymous “other,” and perhaps I should look first at the plank in my own eye.
After a 5:30 a.m. wake-up time to exercise, a long workday, making dinner, and putting the kids to bed, I’m usually ready to crash and veg-out with a t.v. show before heading to bed. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I feel like something is missing when I spend the entire evening indoors. I think the answer lies in the poetry of the Psalms.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.” Psalm 96:11-12
“Praise [the Lord], sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever-
he issued a decree that will never pass away…” Psalm 148:3-6
Could it be that our technology and our entertainment choices distract us from hearing the symphony of praise that God’s creation is singing out to him? What if we turned it all off for an evening, a week, or a month, and instead got outside each evening to listen, and perhaps to join with creation in praising our maker?
I once heard the phrase: You can’t protect what you don’t love, and you can’t love what you don’t know.
This month, will you join me and other Climate Caretakers to power down and spend more time outside? Not only will we reduce our energy consumption by turning off the t.v., computer, smartphone, lights, etc., but we’ll also form a deeper connection with God’s creation. Sometimes restoring God’s creation is as simple as trading one thing for another.
For more details, see our monthly May newsletter