I chuckled to my friend about a silly little wren the other day. Turns out, they did not even know that a wren was a bird. I wouldn't have known either, only I was blessed to have a mom who knows that sort of thing and to live by some woods. Now we know how to play dozens of different app games... but usually we don't know the birds, don't care.

Stars! The stars have dimmed in our imaginations! We used to be guided by them; they were a part of culture and conversation, a constant source of wonder. Stars were both legends and directions. What used to be an incredible spread of imagination, a living canvas of light, is to most people just little pinpricks in the night sky. People in cities cannot even see dancing constellations. I feel lost when I look up to a starless sky.

Let me tell you, one of my favorite things in this world to do is to flip off all the lights back at my house and to take a walk down the long driveway. The stars are bright and clear in the crisp air of winter, and I can lay down spread-eagled in the grass during the summer. Often, even the Milky Way is visible. And I stare and stare, and draw it all in, and I think of all the people before me who have looked upon them, all the stories they have seen from their perches.

The Bible tells us that God named the stars, every one of the billions. Glorious. He had no need to make this universe of enormity, but He did... just like an incredible gift, a testament to His power and beauty.

What a great quote in C. S. Lewis' "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader":

"In our world," said Eustace, "a star is a huge ball of flaming gas."
Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of."

Can we trade entertainment for imagination? Think of things not only in scientific terms, but with meaning, imbued with God-given meaning, with creativity and color and story.

A thing is not defined by laws and principles and substance alone. Humans are not defined by laws and principles and substance alone. We are much more.

No longer are we people of the land, of loam and crops and seasons passing. No longer providing for ourselves, not feeling the weight of eating crops and animals that we raised ourselves. And never, never silence. Never stillness and solitude in which to think and to worship. In which "to give glory back."

"Be still and know that I am God." [1]

Silence is crucial for worship. When we are noisy, we are often distracted with our own affairs, all about making much of ourselves. But in the silence, we can realize the sickness of self and hearken to what is outside self, to beautiful, soul-calming things, to God and His glory.

Thought and reflection are essential to praise.

It is important to pray in the quiet, to meet God in the secret place.

This is a poem about the healing nature of creation, of God's seen revelation.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." [2]

Do not rob yourself of the gifts of Creation, know Him and wander into His natural gifts in awe. He exalts himself in all the earth.

You could spend your empty hours of today looking at a screen or scrolling through your phone, or you could meander out into knowledge and adventure, into thick woods and curving deer trails, breathing the fresh, clean air. We lose something when disconnect ourselves from the rolling land, from the earth and its revelation about God.

We yet have things to learn from wanderings, things to learn in nature and in the calming quiet.

These learnings in the fields and the woods can't be measured, can't always be boasted about or slapped onto a resume, but they are gold to the soul.

From the twinkling Orion to rustling grasses to fiery crimson sunrises to the chirp of a chickadee... The miracle of life from a lowing cow to a screaming hawk:

Marvelous.

Thank you, God.

[1] Psalm 46:10

[2] Wendell Berry