“Our diligent study of the Bible comes from our belief that it was delivered and orchestrated by God to tell us about God. By that reasoning, creation should be diligently studied first, because God saw best to deliver and orchestrate it first.” – Yours Truly
“The ‘Bible’ of nature and creation reveals God and who God is.” – Richard Rohr
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” – Paul, in Romans 1:20
“Through Jesus all things were made; without Jesus nothing was made that has been made.” – John, in John 1:3
It’s too late for most of us.
Most of us who call ourselves Christians are too late to take in and study the revelations of God in the order he revealed them.
Creation first. Bible second.
So we can’t know what the experience would have been like.
What would it have been like to look around at creation and “read it” for what it tells us about God? What would we have learned from the elements, the weather, the different landscapes, the different seasons, the different life forms, the interplay of darkness and light, and the consistent rhythm that the Sun provides? What would we have “read” in our own bodies about God when we found ourselves bursting with energy in one moment, and then helplessly lost in a state of unconsciousness in the next, only to awake with a new burst of energy, only to fall out of consciousness once again?
And once we learned all that we could from creation (the chief lesson being that we will never exhaust the lessons), what would it have been like to then crack open scripture?
We may never know, because most of us were born into, and continue to live in, an environment designed specifically to keep us untouched by nature. Goodness, if nature has lessons on “God’s invisible qualities” that can be “clearly seen”, then I have no chance to see them from where I sit right now. I’m in a nice, quiet, contained area that doesn’t even have a window out to God’s creation. I’m staring at at window, of sorts, called a computer screen, but it is a window created by man looking “out” at a bunch more creations of man. Just last week, a powerful storm that blew down trees and made the day look like night hit my homeland that lasted about 20 minutes, and I would have never known had I not had to move for the bathroom. Even then, nature only got a momentary pause out of me before I went about my business. And that business was in a room that man designed inside this fortress I work in to keep me from having to experience nature even when nature calls!
From within this fabricated, man-orchestrated, climate-controlled mansion, a big box that keeps the first revelation of God at bay, you know what I spend my time doing? Reading and studying God’s second revelation – scripture.
It is great, and I am blessed. But I wonder how much I get wrong in my interpretation of it because of this?
After all, a baby is born incapable of experiencing the study of the Bible, and only capable of experiencing the things around her. As that baby grows, it doesn’t jump right to the ability to read or study or imagine ideas, but instead moves slowly through a process of observing, experiencing, and “reading” the environment she is in. It seems to me that the order of our naturally developed abilities observed in our growth as human beings supports this idea that we should study God first in nature, and then in scripture.
So maybe we are all late, but it’s not too late. Maybe we have done it out of order, but there is still an order to be had and known and experienced in the first revelation, even if it is the second one we are studying.
Get outside. If you can burst out of the physical matrix we’ve all been conditioned to breath in with a revolutionary charge and zealous yell of “freedom!!!” then do it. But start small if you need to.
Just get outside.
And not just when it is comfortable (comfort is why we created the boxes we live in), and not just when it is convenient (convenience keeps us in the boxes, it does not move us out of them, ever).
You are missing out on getting to know God through His first revelation.