The River was Calling

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
   praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
   praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon;
   praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
   and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for he commanded and they were created.
He established them for ever and ever;
   he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
   you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
   stormy wind fulfilling his command!

Mountains and all hills,
   fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
   creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
   princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
   old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for his name alone is exalted;
   his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
   praise for all his faithful,
   for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!

The river was calling Will’s name last week.  Both Jack and Will love hanging out in and around creeks and rivers and lakes and streams.  And Jason and I love hanging out with them while they explore these truly fascinating parts of creation.  We have spent countless hours exploring various bodies of water over the years. 

We can outlast any family who might happen to come to enjoy the same bit of God’s creation.  The McFarlands have staying power when it comes to the great outdoors!

I often joke that we should give lessons to other parents on how to take children into nature – because I am repeatedly dumbfounded by the parents who bring children to rivers and then say things like – “Don’t get wet!”  Seriously – don’t get wet.  That is just plain mean spirited!  Or to by grandparents who take their grandchildren to a particularly appealing place to explore – only to declare – “Don’t get dirty.”  But – getting dirty is so much fun!  God made children to be curious creatures, and they love digging in and exploring nature when they are given the opportunity.   

I find this approach to being outside so very sad – because nature is so much more fun when you are fully immersed in it.  Nature needs to be explored using as many of your senses as possible.  Nature is intriguing when you can feel the water on your feet (or in my sons’ cases all over your entire body).  When you can hear the delightful plop of a rock hitting the water after you have thrown it as hard as you can.  When you have built a tower of sticks and have felt the texture of the bark.  When you have caught a frog or two or three.

Actually – I believe this is true for adults too.  I believe that we also need to immerse ourselves in God’s creation.  We too need to feel cool river water on our feet.  We also need to listen to that delightful plop of rocks hitting the water.  We need to feel the intriguing  texture of bark.  We need to take in all of the wild and wonderful colors of nature.  We all need to park our technology for a while and get out into God’s creation.  The world won’t end if we don’t have cell service for an hour or two!

Nature is really and truly good for us.  It is good for our souls.

If you don’t believe me – science backs me up on this – studies have shown “that when people walk in nature, they obsess over negative thoughts much less than when they walk in the city.” (The Nature Fix)  Think about that for a moment.  Just being in nature changes your attitude and the way you think.  Nature makes us more positive.  We can all certainly use some more positive right now!

The McFarland sons have a deep and abiding love for Floyds Fork River.  And frankly I don’t blame them.  Floyds Fork River is seriously cool.  And so – we spent Thursday evening delighting in God’s glorious creation.

It truly was a perfect summer evening.

We explored.

We saw beautiful wild flowers.

William played in the river with his boat.

We met an adorable frog/toad.

Jack and I looked for river glass which we found in abundance.

We chatted – and we were quiet together.

Jason kept an eye on everyone as he always seems to be doing (it is his superpower.)

Jack skipped stones.

Will got very – very wet.

Jack and Will turned looking for fossils and river glass into a contact sport!  (Something anyone who has raised sons will be able to relate to I am sure/I hope. . .)

We enjoyed the blessings of God’s creation.  We left wet and dirty and thankful for the opportunity to enjoy all of that wonderful nature.

These are not easy times we are all living through.  I encourage you to take some time this week to get out into God’s creation.  Spend some time in your yard.  Run your fingers through the grass.  Go for a drive to a park.  Roll down the windows and listen to the birds sing.  Read Psalm 148.  It is a beautiful reminder of all our God has done and is doing in our world.

You are all in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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