March 9, 2012

Most of us love the outdoors

Whether it is golf, fishing, hunting, camping or racing… men love to be in motion.

One of my most memorable experiences was when five of us dusted off the camping gear and hiked over the hill behind our house into uncharted territory. Once we passed by the frozen cow patties of the neighbors’ field we entered into the hundred acre woods that had never been explored by mankind. The deep snow brought a special quiet to the woods, and it really was as if man had never walked before us. Nothing had disturbed the white landscape but a few deer and rabbit tracks and I must add, some enormous cat prints that brought special meaning to being in the wild. When we made camp I remember being so focused on slowly uncovering the dry leaves and kindling beneath the snow. We needed to start a fire and cook the tomato soup and hot dogs that mom had ‘killed’ for us. With all we had learned from cub scouts we were now surviving in the cold against all odds. Looking back at those experiences some sixty years later, I see God’s hand on my life. Even when I wasn’t ‘thinking’.

The more important revelation is that God was there on that hill with us. He made the snow and caused the water to freeze, might I venture to say He had the biggest part in creating the fun that we had that day. I might also think he may have said “well done” and laughed along with us if not at us. But this I know for sure He was there in the hundred acre woods. He was that enormous quiet that enveloped the woods. He sent the deer before us to intrigue our imagination of the hunt and He sent that cat to remind us of our need for a greater power to protect us. It was God who kept the leaves dry so we would have provision to survive.

This is why we must stay connected to the outdoors, to nature, to the land. They help us connect the dots to how great our Lord is. We are in His land, it was cursed when man was cursed and is healed when we humble ourselves, pray and turn from our ways.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

I am much older now and have discovered that it is just as important to be in God’s nature, as it is to read the Word of God. Both reveal His nature, and His presence.

I would appeal to us all to return to the ‘land’ that He has given us. He has stored up the kindling to start the fire, and He provides for us along the way. It is our part, yes our duty, to venture together into uncharted territory. To walk with and experience God, and to lead others to Him.

– Article contributed by Master’s Men team member Bob Dorman.