c. 2007 Religion News Service
Big Sky, Mont. — Go outside.
Sometime today, walk out into the fresh air and just be for a few minutes.
And look up. There, hopefully, you will find sky.
Sky is good and natural and sometimes, even on a cloudy, grouchy day, even if you catch just a peek of it between skyscrapers or by craning your neck from the bathroom window that faces the alley, really quite beautiful.
Marveling at creation is easy to do when you’re sitting where I am now, in an Adirondack chair on the porch of a cabin in the mountains of Montana, listening to the rush of a spring-swollen river. I can hear the occasional cry of two hawks that have been chasing a smaller bird around the hills all afternoon. I’m in place called Big Sky, and it is aptly named. They filmed “A River Runs Through It” here. This is perhaps the most beautiful place on earth, or at least as much of it as I’ve seen thus far. All of western Montana is like God showing off: “Look what I can do! Look what I can do!”
But you don’t have to be in a place as preposterously pretty as this one to reap the benefits of stepping outside. This is particularly true for those of us who have been holed up trying to figure something out — spiritually, emotionally, existentially.
Take the example of Jesus. When he was trying to find himself — who he was in this world and who he wasn’t, what he was called to do and how he was to do it — he went into the wild, whether it was the desert or the Garden of Gethsemane.
Outside, it feels like there is less standing between the Creator and us. Today I realized winter was becoming spring before me. Change was happening. Creation, and perhaps the Creator, was speaking.
I just needed to be outside to hear the voice.
Cathleen Falsani is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and author of The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People.