I met Casey (not his real name) in a local watering hole in Buena Vista, Colorado. My friends and I were getting a detailed lesson on the history of the area when Casey wandered in to order a drink.
Casey took a seat outside on the patio while we finished the history lesson.
After I while I walked over and said “Hola” to Casey. I ended up talking to him about thirty minutes.
Twenty-nine years old, smart and a true outdoorsman, Casey lives in his car in B.V. during the summers to save money. He’s all about river guiding in the summers and teaching snow boarding in the winter.
Casey is also a church dropout. He was done after the pastor of his church was caught with a girl in the student ministry. Let’s just say that religion lost its appeal for Casey after that.
Casey and I share an affinity for the mountains. I mean, seriously, this kid is willing to live in his car to be close to the outdoors. When I asked Casey to explain his passion for nature, he became very reflective.
He talked about learning the rhythms of the canyon–where the clouds form and which direction they typically move. He talked about seeing colors that morph with sunrises and sunsets. And he talked about the powerful storms that roll through the Arkansas River Valley on a regular basis.
Curiously, one of those storms was brewing when I walked outside to join Casey on the patio. Lightening danced across the western sky as we sat and talked.
Then Casey made a comment that I will never forget. He said, “You know, if you’ll learn to listen, nature speaks to you. And when it does, it never lies.”
I thought that was a remarkable piece of insight from this young man. For indeed, nature does speak:
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands, Psalm 19:1.
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, Romans 1:20.
The first point of information every human gets about God is through the created world. That’s why so many are drawn to the outdoors–it speaks to us. And Casey is right: when it speaks, it doesn’t lie.
God wove into every sunrise and sunset, and all the beauty of creation we see in between, the message of his glory. Nature never points to itself; it always points us to our creator.
I decided it was time to bring God into the conversation with Casey, but I never got the chance. God interrupted us both.
I said, “You know Casey, the Bible teaches that God reveals . . . . .” When I hit the “G” sound in God, there was terribly bright flash of lightening and an instantly booming clap of thunder. It shook the building.
Casey obviously got the message of the timing. All he could say was, “Wow, that was impressive.”
Friends, we serve a living, powerful and creative God. The world around us isn’t the result of some random cosmic accident. It’s the magnificent handiwork of the holy God.
And when nature speaks, it doesn’t lie:
But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind, Job 12:7-10