What nature can tell us about divinity’s nature.
I’m obsessed with those celebrity “at home with” interviews. You know those ones that let you peak inside Jay Z’s Tribeca loft or Björk’s luxury yurt. Swiping through Twitter or wheeling my cart past the magazine rack at Whole Foods, I always brake for those headlines:
“In the House with Snoop Dogg”
“Home Cooking with Guy Fieri”
“Lebron’s Palm Beach Palace Is Fit for a King”
Megastar or marginal D-lister, I don’t care. There’s simply something about peering behind the curtain and seeing how another person, famous or not, lives.
Because the things we surround ourselves with at home tell a story about us—the pictures on our walls, the books on our shelves, our sea shell collections and vintage Pez dispensers. An open door is an open book, and we can read a lot about someone from their abode.
Head for the Hills
From MTV Cribs to the “many mansions” up above may seem an impossibly far leap. But step outside with me for a moment and consider that, in a way, the great outdoors is the Great and Powerful’s very own home (or vacation bungalow at least). He is after all the original owner and architect of this whole place. And if spirituality is about coming to know the divine, what better place to do it than in divinity’s backyard? What does nature tell us about the Higher Power’s nature?
As a former Boy Scout (never mind that I earned only a single merit badge) and a guy who’s seen a few nature documentaries, obviously I’m super qualified to answer.
My Field Notes
He’s got a unique sense of style. Exhibits A through C: Venice fly traps. Lizards that change color. Whatever strange stuff goes on at the bottom of the ocean. Ever hear of the red-lipped batfish? There are some crazy furnishings adorning the rooms of this place.
He has eclectic musical tastes. You might guess His playlist is all harps and hoards of angels harmonizing endlessly. But have you heard the heavy-metal music of an earth-shaking thunderstorm lately? Or the free jazz of owls?
He’s an aesthete. The gentle arc of a waterfall. The stippled back of a trout. The way the earth shrugs into a golden-brown coat every fall and the way the sunset spills like orange soda across the horizon every evening. It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts.
He’s a collector. He definitely subscribes to the “more the merrier” maxim. Check the numbers: 950,000 species of insects. 300,000 species of plants. Brown algae species alone number nearly 3,000.
He has incredible patience. That mountain it took you two days to hike last summer took Him two hundred million years to make.
He has some serious engineering skills. Nature is more than a pretty face. It’s a series of seriously complex and intricately connected systems that work miraculously well.
He has a sense of humor. Google “funny animal videos” and I’ll see you in three hours.
He’s a gracious host. The food gets five stars and the amenities, when we share, are abundant. He allows us free reign of the entire compound, and even though at times we’ve proven to be the least gracious of guests, He always keeps a light on for us.