I can find Jesus in a Wendy’s better than I can find him in the woods.
I told this to some of my roommates the other week and they thought it was quite funny. I am hilarious, am I not?
But I mean those words wholeheartedly.
I don’t find God in nature the way that others do. I just don’t.
That used to make me feel weird. Like why does everyone around me want to climb a mountain and watch the sunset together? That’s a lot of hiking. I’m not down for that.
Why do people get up at the crack of dawn to sit out on the patio and listen to birds while praying and reading? I don’t want to hear birds as I pray. I want to hear the sound of coffee brewing.
And I know now that that is okay.
Yes, nature is God’s creation. We are meant to appreciate it and see the beauty in it all. And there are times when I do. When I went to the beach this past April, I saw a porpoise dive above the water for the first time. It took my breath away. Never before had I seen anything so majestic.
But there aren’t any porpoises in suburban Georgia. There’s just trees and damp grass.
And I have found that I connect to Jesus a lot better indoors. It’s just the way I’m wired.
Up until a couple years ago, I didn’t understand that ALL people are wired differently.
Some of us connect to God through worship. I am one of those people. One of my favorite parts of my morning is when I have Jesus Culture praising God through my earbuds while I carefully fry eggs on the stove.
Then there are others who connect to God through studying. They’ll read commentaries upon commentaries, and sometimes they’ll have one of those Bibles with one translation on one side and a different translation on the other. They just want to soak in the Word and pour themselves into the studying of every phrase and punctuation mark. I admire their thirst for knowledge so much.
There are also people who connect to God through other people. They will sit down over tea and have meaningful conversations about faith and life. And when they leave, they feel like they caught a glimpse of the face of God through the well-spoken words of a well-intentioned friend.
Some connect to God through acts of service. In the lending of a hand to a brother or sister in need, they resonate with the sacrifices and selflessness Christ displayed toward themselves.
Then there are those who connect to God through prayer. They just pray and pray and pray. They are warriors of prayer, slaying the attacks of the enemy through declarations of God’s promises.
And there are, of course, those who connect to Him through nature.
And none of these methods of seeking the Lord are better than any other. It is a privilege to be able to seek God in our individual ways. He is not only inviting, but also personal.
I used to think it was strange when I would stand next to people during worship at church and they wouldn’t sing or raise their hands. We’re worshiping the one true God, dude! What’s your problem?
Maybe there was never a problem at all. People are just different. And the silent worshiper in church could turn out to be the most studious learner of the Bible or the most earnest prayer warrior. You never really know.
So that’s why I like to ASK people how they connect to God rather than just assume they’re exactly like me. And when they tell me they love nature and being out in God’s creation, I just smile, nod my head, and say, “That’s really cool. I like that… but still definitely not for me.”
I’ll go find Jesus in a Wendy’s and you can go find Jesus in the woods, and then we can come together and bring what we have found because we’re all on a pursuit together. How does that sound?