Walking in the Woods with God

A friend of mine in Canada, his name is Tom, shared this story with me:

A man wants to take his children out to the woods to experience nature, to enjoy creation and find a connection to God in it. He and his kids walk through the woods with the kids talking and stomping in streams, breaking dead sticks, kicking the leaves on the forest floor. Birds scatter at their approach and there is no other wildlife to be seen. The man, on several occasions, admonishes his kids to stop making so much noise so they can enjoy the sounds of the forest. The kids try but they just can't do it for more than a few seconds at a time. The man becomes increasingly frustrated and returns home with his kids feeling angry that the connection he sought and wanted to share with his kids couldn't be found. He tries this several times - hoping that, this time, the kids will be able to be silent and enjoy the sounds of nature. Each time he is frustrated and eventually gives up on his quest to encounter God in creation with his kids present. The walks continue. Then, as he is walking with his kids, talking and crunching and splashing their way through the woods he realizes that God has been screaming at him the whole time - through the conversations with his kids, the time together, in the splashing in the streams, in the crunching of the leaves and, yes, even in the scattering of the wildlife as they approached. The surprise of God was that God was present the whole time, just not where
the man was looking.


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