8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Do you strive for noble things? Because I grew up in the country, many could say I led a fairly sheltered life—and they would be correct. Back then, books and the outdoors were my two greatest companions. Rather than lurking in dark, dangerous back allies, I sauntered freely down leafy paths, sucking in clean air. Decaying leaves and fresh earth intoxicated me with their rich odors—the only drugs I needed. I’m not saying I was perfect; I had my faults (still do). Thank God that we all can learn from our mistakes and receive forgiveness no matter what our life experiences.
As a Christian, I actually pray for a “sheltered” life now. I seek the umbrella of God’s protection like I’ve never sought it before. And not just for me but also my kids, my wife and my friends. Praise God for His protective hand and the noble gift of creation—a gift that radiates His glory and calls us back to Him. Although the outdoors never trumps God’s perfect Word, I will say that it measures up nicely with the Philippians 4 passage. Here are a few reasons why I think this:
The beauty and breadth of the outdoors constantly remind me of God’s unceasing love—true, noble, just.
Trees never offer me dope, birds never curse at me, and my furry friends don’t lead me down destructive paths—pure.
It brings families together, fostering closer relationships—lovely.
I always leave the woods with wonderful stories and blessed memories—a good report.
Being outdoors teaches patience, personal responsibility and stewardship for the planet–virtue.
In nature, we learn skills and truths that can inspire us and can be passed on to the next generation—praiseworthy.
How about you? What noble things have you discovered about the outdoors?