“There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.” Calvin Coolidge
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail.” John Muir
“One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.
Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “?,” led them astray.”*
The results of A&W burger study is hilarious but it also had me thinking about how many people don’t serve God, or believe God is good based on false perceptions of Him. It really is quite easy to gather an inaccurate view of who God is. First, off the Bible is really long, around 1,200 pages depending on the translation and print size. Second, most people have never read all the way through it, according to one study 80% of Americans.* Lastly, it takes a lot of time and work to get to know what is going on in the Scriptures and really get the full pictures of who God is. It is a one big book consisting of 66 books stretching through long periods of history and culture.
One thing I would like to really highlight in this section is that God is good because He is the author of all Good things, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights.” the epistle of James states. God isn’t just some taker of joy, God is the creator of joy. God is the one who created the pleasure of sex. God is the one who gave us taste buds. The average person has over 10,000 taste buds. He has given us the ability to see. Did you know the human eye can see over 7 million colors? God has surrounded us with great beauty. God, could have created for us a drab looking world, but in His good pleasure He made the world his art canvas. Dante was the one who said “nature is the art of God.” There are over 117 million lakes in the world enjoy. And if lakes aren’t your thing there all kinds of valleys, deserts, and mountains. If you are fortunate to live in the US, there are thousands of parks to choose to see, and millions of acres of federally protected land to view. If you get out of the city on a clear night, you can see thousands of stars just with the naked eye. A small amount compared to the estimated billion trillion stars just in the observable universe. That is 1 with 21 zeroes behind it. Psalm 147:4 says “He determines the number of the stars, He gives to all of them their names.” This same God knows the very amount of hairs on each of our heads and loves and delights in us.
Not only is there great beauty and pleasure in nature. There is pleasure in serving God. This is because we were designed to worship the one who is good. John Piper is the one that said “God is most glorified in us when we are satisfied in Him. In the Psalms King David rejoices “taste and see that the Lord is good.” and “in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Moses after speaking with God on the mountain asks God “to please show me your glory” and God responds by saying “I will make all my goodness pass before you.” There is great, deep, satisfying joy that can be had in our relationship with God, and that also is a great gift.