Nicklis Stevens lost his sister, Lygon, in an avalanche while they were hiking a mountain peak. He then went through the valley of pain asking the difficult question of “Why?” God answered him in beautiful and unexpected ways.
G.K. Chesterton was a 20th century poet probably never tried mountaineering or backcountry skiing, but he wrote something that will make anyone think again if they haven’t placed much value on recreational pursuits. He writes… It is the happy man who does the useless things; the sick man is not strong enough to be idle. Jesus […]
God has used the wilderness as a special place for transformation through the ages by providing his people with “dry space”, where distractions are removed, and margin is created in the soil of people’s hearts to drink in and soak up his words.
We want to hear God speak to us. We daily need his guidance. Yet, the clutter, busyness, and noise of life at times makes us feel like God’s still small voice is being drowned out. Do you ever freak out a bit and say to yourself something like, “I don’t care what anyone else has to say, I just want to hear what God has to say about this situation.” Well, if you have ever reached that place, then you are welcome member of the human race.
Why to so few experiential learning educators look to Jesus’ as a model experiential educator? This is like taking William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens out of an English Literature course. It can be compared to MBA program not mentioning Steve Jobs or Peter Drucker. For experiential learning advocates and outdoor education specialists, trying to avoid looking at Jesus as a model master teacher is just as ill-informed as an architecture professor neglecting to draw attention to Frank Lloyd Wright or Fredrick Law Olmsted. I believe that Jesus is not often mentioned as a master experiential learning educator because of an inadequate awareness of the facts.
This Fall some Colorado Christian University students went backpacking over the Four Pass Loop near Maroon Bells in the Snowmass Wilderness. This video is full of great wilderness quotes from the Bible that will inspire and encourage you. Jim Doenges, the director of CCU’s Outdoor Leadership Program is providing students with the skills to lead others outdoors as well as the experience to understand their need for solitude with Jesus in the outdoors.
The perspective you gain from a mountain top experience can help you when you walk through some of the more difficult ravines of my normal daily routine—in the valley below. Have you ever observed that hardly anything lives on the mountaintop? This is because the environment is too harsh for creatures to thrive. Life is lived in the valley 24/7 but God knows that we need mountain top experiences from time to time to carve landmarks of perspective into our memory, which can fuel new hope as we journey in the valleys below. Here’s how…
This video explains how the Wilderness Act in the United States has profoundly preserved God’s creation for everyone to enjoy.
The 50th Celebration of the Wilderness Act of 64 is this year! A lesser known fact is that Howard Zahniser, who penned the Wilderness Act that set aside wilderness areas for every American, was profoundly inspired by his faith in Christ:
His sense of community was also rooted in his Christian upbringing. Though he had drifted away from Free Methodism by the 1950s and did not belong to any particular denomination, he did remain a Christian, devoted to Christian tenets of stewardship toward the earth. -Mark W. T Harvey, William Cronon
Many of the phrases Howard Zahniser used throughout the law give indication of his love for God, who created the earth. He talks frequently and eloquently about the biblical idea of stewardship. For example, he wrote:
A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.
Here is the text of the Wilderness Act of 1964 written by Howard Zahniser
One of the most significant macro developments in human civilization is the migration toward the cities in the past one hundred years. Urbanization creates the need for young people to have more opportunities to get out into God’s creation. What can you do to help your church or favorite non-profit organization in your city prioritize getting young people out into God’s Creation?