change your perspective this summer!

Posted on Friday, Jun 14, 2019 by Air1 Worship Now Blog

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Connected To Creation

“Change of pace + Change of place = Change of perspective.”  -Mark Batterson

Written By: Scott Savage

In a few days, I’m taking my kids to the beach for the very first time. They can’t stop asking how many sleeps until we leave, and I’ve answered what seems like a million questions about the ocean. The several hour drive will likely include a few hundred occurrences of “are we there yet?”

The novelty of the beach has tremendous allure for my kids, but it’s a familiar place for me. Growing up, my mom found a particular peace on the shore, so we were there often. I’ve often called her from the ocean and put the phone on speaker just so she can hear the water. Few things bring as much peace for me as the earlier hours of the morning running down the sand with no earbuds in my ears, taking in the sound of the breaking waves.

Connected To Creation

Maybe you can relate. Many of us feel a deep connection with God when we step away from our technology and enter into a quiet spot in creation. Whether it’s a cabin in the mountains, a house on the lake, a condo on the beach, or a boat while fishing, these spaces offer our bodies refreshment and our souls renewal.

It’s as if these spots are the altar where we accept Jesus’ invitation found in Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

The Scriptures tell us that when we step into God’s creation, we experience His glory and engage His handiwork. Psalm 19 begins with these words, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God.  The skies display his craftmanship.”

In his book Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas describes 9 unique ways we connect with God according to our personality and wiring. One group, the Naturalists, “prefer to leave a building – however beautiful or austere – to pray to God beside a river. Leave the books behind, forget the demonstrations, and just let this person take a walk in the woods, mountain hike or bike, or gaze at a field of daisies.”

Connected To Creation

Whether or not these kinds of activities increase your awareness of God’s presence, the summer season offers our families a great opportunity to experience Mark Batterson’s mantra, “Change of pace + change of place = change of perspective.”

Perhaps you’ll take a full-blown vacation to the beach or the mountains, or simply create a weekly practice of stepping away from the lure of technology and fill that time with a family bike ride or a gathering around the fire pit. Either way, intentionally stepping into God’s creation can transform us and our relationships with those we love.

Connected To Creation

Here are a few ideas to get you started...

What if you:

  • Ask each child in your family to pick and help plan a family experience outdoors this summer? 

  • Identify one time each week for your family (or chosen family) to gather together and share in a physical experience with a “no phones allowed” zone?
     
  • Prayerfully plan a worship time in God’s creation this summer, asking each person to bring something to share? A Scripture passage to read, a written prayer to share, a discussion question for everyone to answer, a song to listen to or sing together, etc.

The experiences of being together this summer - indoors and out - are incredible gifts. Even the preparation can be part of the joy. My kids are never more excited to fold and sort laundry as they are when they know it’s for vacation. The idea of this time away, in God’s creation, has sustained us for a few weeks during the normal fights about eating dinner or putting away clean laundry.

The gift of time in nature keeps on giving because I know we’ll be talking about this trip when we return. We will do our best to bring the change of perspective back with us.

Sure, with kids, no perspective lasts long. But that’s why we’ll get back out there again!

How are you and your family and friends using the opportunities this season offers to get outside, get active, and connect with God and each other?

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28

___

Scott Savage is a pastor and a writer. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona. Scott is married to Dani and they are the parents of three “little savages.” He is the creator of the Free to Forgive Course and you can read more of his writing at scottsavagelive.com.

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