Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Earth Day and a Truer View of Nature

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Earth Day and a Truer View of Nature

Article excerpt

My little dog, Lily, and I have rediscovered a nature area near our house. When we walk there, we see several different species of wild birds flying overhead or swimming peacefully on the small lake. The tall grasses rustle as we walk by, and our feet crunch on the pebbled trail.

While Lily sniffs the springtime breeze, I take in the majestic Rocky Mountain peaks. The mountains, along with the nesting birds, gentle breezes, and budding trees, stir my heart. I'm reminded of the words of naturalist and Colorado homesteader Enos Mills: "A climb up the Rockies will develop a love for nature, strengthen one's appreciation of the beautiful world outdoors, and put one in tune with the Infinite." I've especially found this to be true when I think of what the magnificence of the earth points to - the grandeur of spiritual reality, the universe created by God.

One of the psalms in the Bible comes to mind: "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof" (Psalms 24:1). When I consider that everything is created by God, divine Spirit, it makes sense to me that the true nature and substance of all creation is like Him - meaning, it's spiritual and good. In the textbook of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy defines Earth as: "A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end.

"To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 585).

Loving nature and protecting the planet is what Earth Day, observed in the United States each year on April 22, is all about. But I know I can do more for the environment by looking beyond the physical, to understand more of the glories that God has created.

When the earth and its environment are viewed through the material senses, limitations such as fragility, extinction, and pollution can become the focus. But seeing our planet through a spiritual sense of things brings into focus the awe-inspiring solidity of the spiritual qualities that nature hints at. Beauty, grace, and strength are a sampling of the eternal, spiritual elements nature symbolizes. And praying to better understand the true, spiritual nature of God's creation naturally impels us to care for the environment around us and inspires solutions to problems. …

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