I’ve started wearing a jacket and gloves when I bike to work each morning, sure evidence that fall is here. As days get shorter we’re entering my favorite time of year. There’s something beautifully crisp and lively about fall, and I was reveling in the beginning hints of my favorite season during my ride this morning.
There’s something holy about reveling in God’s creation. The Psalmist spends nearly 30 verses doing so in Psalm 104, line after line detailing the miraculousness of this earth. From the fact that the waters don’t cover the dry land to the fact that God provides food from the ground for animals and “wine that gladdens human hearts” (v.14) to the mysterious terrors of the oceans and death “when you take away their breath,” (v.29) the Psalmist uses creation as a lens to focus and sharpen his joy so that at the close of the Psalm he can declare “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”
Let’s take a cue from the Psalmist as we enter fall. As leaves go from green to a dozen shades of orange, red, and brown and as we don sweaters and scarves, let’s make space for reveling in what God has given us in this earth. That reveling will inevitably lead us to take joy in the Lord.
Rather than constantly rushing from one thing to the next in the next week, set aside some moments to go for a leisurely stroll. Head to a state park. Bundle up and go star gazing. Don’t rush it. Look at the details of this creation and be amazed by it. Think about the fact that the trees you’re seeing live off dirt, air, and sunlight; that you’re on a ball twirling through space at thousands of miles an hour; that your body somehow miraculously takes what you ate for lunch and turns it into energy that enables you to walk, breath, talk, think, and read this. As you revel, watch as your soul declares “Lord my God, you are very great”!
Take the time to get in nature this week, particularly if you are feeling depressed and burdened. There’s a reason why the Psalmist is able to end his Psalm with joy. As Charles Spurgeon declared,
He who forgets the humming of the bees among the heather, the cooing of the wood-pigeons in the forest, the song of birds in the woods, the rippling of rills among the rushes, and the sighing of the wind among the pines, needs not wonder if his heart forgets to sing and his soul grows heavy.
Get out of the house, apartment, cubicle, and car. Go enjoy a tree. A field. The open sky. Let them teach your heart to sing. The Psalmist prays, “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works” (v.31). Let’s join the Lord in that rejoicing this fall.