Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nature-Deficit Disorder

In less than two weeks I will be heading off into the great outdoors of Glacier National Park for a time of retreat. I enjoy backpacking, hiking and anything else that has to do with mountains. I have jokingly said that my responsibility as a father is to teach my boys what to like at an early age. Out of responsibility I am trying to teach them how to enjoy backpacking, hiking and anything that has to do with mountains. They will come around eventually.

All joking aside - I do believe it is my responsibility as a father to train our boys to enjoy God's good creation. This happens best in the context of being out in God's good creation. I don't want our boys to grow up with the understanding that all good and fun things happen inside with electricity.

Albert Mohler recently wrote on this topic. He says

The troubling development is that many children never play outside. They prefer to play computer games, surf the Internet, or update their Facebook pages. Their parents are increasingly afraid to let them play outside, scared by the constant barrage of news stories about crimes against children. These children and teenagers are accustomed to air conditioning, sophisticated entertainments, and lack of physical activity. They are aliens in the outside world...

...God reveals His glory in creation. How can we read the Psalms with insight if we never look and see that the heavens really are telling the glory of God? Something precious is lost when children -- or adults -- are alienated from the created world. This choice for alienation is a choice to cut ourselves off from what God has given us to enjoy and to appreciate.

Here's some good news. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to provide your children with experiences in nature and outdoor play. Just open the door and point them into the back yard or take them to a local park. Take a walk in the woods or go fishing in the lake. Go where the light does not obscure and see the wonder of the night sky.

Who knows? Your children just might forget to look for the nearest electrical outlet.

So here is my challenge. Go outside. Stay outside. Enjoy, or learn to enjoy being outside and worship God for His unique work of creation!

2 comments:

ottoman49 said...

I agree. I like mountains and stuff.

Becca said...

Have you seen "Into the Wild"? Leave it to me to post about a movie about enjoying the outdoors.
-Andy