I have recently seen a figure published that there are nearly 200 million English-language blog sites on the web, and that worldwide the total begins to approach one billion. Most of these sites are dead or dormant, of course. But still, though it can almost go without saying that that means there is one blog for every seven people on the face of the earth, I guess it also means that there is somehow room for one more.
No apology need be made for adding another: I feel I have something important to say. Isn’t that the reason anyone takes to the pen, keyboard, canvas or airwaves/microwaves? OK, maybe not the latter… But no, there’s more than that. I feel I have something important to give testimony to.
I am a naturalist. I have not always considered myself such, even thought the title undeserving, but it is a designation with which I have become more comfortable in recent years. I am certainly no O.E. Wilson, no John Muir, no Thoreau, Carson, Sibley, Abbey, Lindbergh, Berry, Audubon or Olson. But Webster’s Dictionary solves the question of self-designation for me: a naturalist is simply a student of natural history. I am unquestionably that, as there is much about nature that captivates me. Its study and consideration captures not only the hours of my leisure but as well the rarer moments of a daydream.
However, I am also a Christ-follower, a worshiper of the God of the Bible. In fact, this pursuit, though mentioned second here, has actually preoccupied me far longer and infinitely deeper than my preoccupation with nature. It is now many, many years that I have sought to follow hard after God. There is nothing that is more important to me, nothing. And through these years I have found these two passions, nature and my Christian faith, coming together in an almost aching, throbbing sense of wonderment and awe.
Which brings me back to the statement above about it being more than just feeling I have something important to say: that it is more about feeling I have something important about which to give testimony, to give a shout out about, to give props where props are due. An ancient writer, another who sought to follow hard after God, put it this way: “I will tell of God’s wondrous works.” He knew that nature was not just natural; it had its source, its foundation, its substance in the God who created it. Thus, nature was more than natural, for that writer and for me: it is creation. Extraordinary. Supernatural, if you will. I can’t speak about it from anything but a spiritual perspective.
So this is what I would like to give testimony to: that “…The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and everyone who lives upon it.” Some will think me a fool. Some even of my friends will wonder why Rick is choosing to write about this stuff, like one of my good friends who looked at me in bewilderment one time as I waxed about creation and said, “What are you, some kind of animist?” He knew better and was pulling my leg. But another of my friends might not have been: when I told him as we walked those autumn woods that day that I felt when a leaf fell from a tree and touched me before it hit the ground that I considered it a kiss from God (yes, I admit that now sounds really stupid to me, too), he responded, “Oh yeah? So what do you think if a big branch falls off and hits you?”
Hmmm… Casting my pearls…
Yet I will still tell of God’s wondrous works. To be sure, I do have another life, a family and ministry life… But right here, at the intersection of creation and faith, is where I often find strength for the journey to which God has called me. And since I am always surprised at how little I find being written on the subject, it seems to me all the more important that I write.
So, another blog? Yes, for my good reasons. Besides, I can think of at least my fair share of seven persons who may be interested in hearing what I might have to say. Let’s see, first there’s me, then my wife, my four kids and three sons-in-law… There, I’m already ahead of the worldwide average.