The Splendors of the World
Have you ever contemplated how the splendor of the world can change your mood by simply viewing it? The world we live in offers so much to see even in our own backyard. This time of year, the majesty of God’s handiwork is ever evident in the beautiful colors of the leaves as they transition from the various greens to yellows, oranges, and reds. It reminds me of the little girl and her father who were walking one clear, starry night. She turned to him and asked, “If the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what will the right side be like?” Indeed, what could possibly top the majestic splendor of this world? I guess we’ll just have to leave it up to God.
There is quite a bit of research that reveals that nature can reduce stress. What we see, hear, or experience at any moment changes not just our mood but how our body systems work. It is no wonder that researchers in one study reported in the book, Healing Gardens, that more than two-thirds of people chose a natural setting to destress. Studies indicate that just by being in nature or simply viewing its splendor; reduces anger, fear, and stress in addition to increasing pleasant feelings. So, overall, nature not only makes us feel better emotionally but also contributes to our physical well-being.
Research and Studies on Nature Splendors
Research has proved that we are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, and water, along with other natural elements. When we place our focus on this, our pain and discomfort are distracted. A study conducted by Robert Ulrich on patients who underwent gallbladder surgery is now considered a classic one. Dr. Ulrich learned that patients who had a view of trees tolerated pain better, had fewer negative effects, and spent less time in the hospital. There are now studies that show similar results with scenes from nature and plants in hospital rooms. It is clear that nature restores us.
Studies prove that mood improves after spending time outside; changing depression, stress, and anxious people to calmer dispositions and more balanced lives. In addition, studies have also shown that those who focus on nature not only have a more positive mood, but it also increases the ability to pay attention, giving a good rest to our overactive minds.
As you might imagine if the power of nature is this strong there must be adverse effects for those who are not exposed. According to a study at the University of Illinois, they found that residents in Chicago public housing who had trees and green space around their building connected better with people. They had a stronger feeling of unity, more empathy, and felt compelled to help others than those without natural elements. Studies show that those that are deprived of nature, mostly through hours spent in front of screens have increased depression, loss of empathy, and lack of well-being for others.
The Main Focus Must Be Our Main Focus
It seems clear that nature impacts the way we view and experience life. So, how do we balance this vital need with our lives that might not allow us to spend great quantities of time outside? As studies have indicated, the simple addition of plants into our environment or scenes of nature on our walls can certainly help. However, it seems that ultimately, even with all of this, our main focus should be on the creator of the creations of nature.
Throughout scripture, writers have strongly suggested that we spend time meditating on the splendor and majesty of God and all that He encompasses. Yogi Berra, the 1950’s – 1960’s new York Yankee’s catcher, is credited with saying “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” This profound statement can certainly apply to our need to connect to nature as in essence it isn’t nature, we are needing to connect to, it is God. He is the main thing and it is important that we always keep the main thing, well… the main thing.
We are only fully satisfied when we connect with our Creator. If we focus our thoughts upon Him, our lives will be one of satisfaction as we place our trust in Him. There are plenty of books filled with how -to(s) and rules to follow to create our own happiness, but there is only one book that ultimately leads to happiness and that is His Word. God comes to us each day to offer us strength if we will trust and place our focus on Him. It is in this way that as we live lives with His guidance meditating on the splendor of not only the world, He created but the creator Himself, that we can impact our lives in positive ways.
Mediate on the Glorious Splendor, Everyday
I will meditate on your majestic glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.Psalm 145:5 (NLT)
The splendor of nature does impact our lives because of the splendor of the Creator. By inviting God into our lives daily and responding to His direction, we see things from His perspective and not the world. Calling upon Him daily helps lift the burdens from life simply because of our connection. Knowing that we can always turn to Him for help is a great comfort as He will lift us up to receive His peace.
When we get out in nature or surround ourselves with bits of nature, it helps us reflect upon the wonders of God. As our focus builds, we remember what He has done in the past giving us strength and enabling us to move forward in all circumstances.
Won’t you be challenged to see the splendor of God daily, by keeping Him the main thing of your life? Reflecting upon His greatness grounds your convictions recognizing not only His power in both the present and your surroundings but additionally provides you with the trust to move forward into the future with Him. Find your motivation in knowing that He is always with you as proved and promised. Lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that He not only created the majesty and splendor of the world that you live in, but that He comes to you personally each day ready to build you up so you can live according to Him and nothing tops that knowledge for your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.
Love in Christ,
Happy is the soul that has been awed by a view of God’s majesty.A.W. Pink
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you marvel at the splendor on this side of heaven, wondering how it can be better? Has your life been impacted by focusing on God and all that He created? Share your thoughts and experiences on how God and His creations make your life better physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Credits Kuo, F. (2001). Aggression and Violence in the Inner City: Effects of Environment via Mental Fatigue. Environment and Behavior, 33(4), 543. Larson, Jean; Kreitzer, Mary Jo - Reviewed. (2016). Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellbeing; How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing? Retrieved from University of Minnesota: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing Marcus, C. &. (1999). Healing Gardens. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Stamatakis, E. (2011). Screen-based entertainment time, all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular events: Population-based study with ongoing mortality and hospital events follow-up. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 57(3), 292-299. Ulrich, R. (1984). View through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery. Science, 224 (4647, 420-421.