Is Nature a Place to Find God?

castrocrestpyramidlk-2I was recently surprised to hear some Christians say that nature is not a sacred place, that somehow a church is a better place than being in nature. Now I certainly know the benefits of belonging to a church, but it is odd to hear this about nature. Some folks have even gone so far as to say nature is a terrible, frightening place — the “wilderness” is not a place for man to find God.

I find that hard to believe. Nature photography helps me focus on the truly wonderful parts of our world, and has in fact, taken me around the world seeing so much of the wonder that is God’s. As I narrow my consciousness to me and my subject, I am constantly amazed at what I see. If this is not the handiwork of an awesome God, I don’t know what else is. 

In the Bible, Moses did not go up on the mountain to find a church to pray in. He was in nature. Jesus did not go to the gardens at Gesthemane to be inside a church. He was also close to God while in nature. And in the first Biblical story of creation, God didn’t make everything on earth and consider it so-so. “He saw that it was good.”

So for me, communing with nature is a part of my experience with God. And nature photography gives me the chance to focus in on God’s creation, his “art”, if you will, and share that with others. I also think there are amazing examples of this all around us. The photo shown here is the “art” of mountains at dawn in the Santa Monica Mountains just barely north and west of Los Angeles.

— Rob Sheppard