Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Living with Lewis: Nature's Lessons

Wildflower Eclipse

"Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that in otherways. But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me. I still do not know where else I could have found one. I do not see how the 'fear' of God could have ever meant to me anything but the lowest prudential efforts to be safe, if I had never seen certain ominous ravines and unapproachable crags. And if nature had never awakened certain longings in me, huge areas of what I can now mean by the 'love' of God would never, so far as I can see, have existed. . . Nature does not teach. A true philosophy may sometimes validate an experience of nature; an experience of nature cannot validate a philosophy. Nature will not verify any theological or metaphysical proposition (or not in the manner we are now considering); she will help to show what it means" (20).

In this way Lewis cautions us in the love of nature. Nature reflects the one who made it: "the created glory may be expected to give us hints of the uncreated" (20). But while we may see God's character reflected in that which is created, we cannot find him there. We cannot reach God solely through nature- we must turn from the created to the Creator. Nature can point us to God, but it cannot carry us to him. Enjoy the beauty of the created, but direct one's worship the one who made it.

Photo taken by Kara Haberstock, 2008, all rights reserved