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The Value of Nature

The Value of Nature

I love taking personality tests. Myers-Briggs, Enneagram—you name it. I love the insights these tests give into who I am and how I am uniquely created. Most of the time, the assessments are right on the money. I’m an ENFJ, no question! But sometimes I struggle with the results.

About two years ago I took a personal values assessment. The results of that test nagged at me, and ever since then I’ve been on a mission to “fix it.” Here’s why: at the very bottom of the list of 50 things I value was nature. Really? Nature? How can that be? I grew up on the water. I camped for a week each summer as a child. Granted something had to be at the bottom, but nature? What went wrong?

I think nature fell to the bottom of my values because I was taking it for granted. I wasn’t slowing down and “smelling the roses.” Rather than listen to the birds sing on my morning walk, I was busy listening to my own voice plan my day. I wasn’t taking time to make the connection between God and nature. Recently I re-read Genesis 1-2 and was reminded of God’s role in nature. I was convicted that God is in creation and that all I need to do is slow down, watch and listen.

Recently I stood at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and looked out at one of the earth’s most inspiring landscapes. As I looked at the perfectly lined layers of sediment I thought about how each reflected millions of years. Each line told a story of the earth and its inhabitants dating as far back as 1,840 million years ago. The Grand Canyon as we see it now has been five or six million years in the making. My mere fifty plus years is a grain of sand compared to those massive canyon walls.

As I stood there a flood of thoughts raced through my mind. “Who am I that you should think of me?” “You search me and you know me.” God, who put together the forces that shape and reshape our planet, knows me and loves me. When God created nature, he said, “It is good,” but upon creating man, he said, “It is very good.” I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Humbled to consider my life in the context of millions of years, I thanked God. Because God, creator of the universe, cares about little, insignificant me. And that is truly amazing!

About Cynthia Lopynski

Cynthia Lopynski served on the Floris UMC staff for 17 years and now works for the Alexandria/Arlington District Offices for the United Methodist Church in Northern Virginia. She has a passion for reaching new people for Christ and for vibrant, relevant, local churches. She is married to Jerry, and they have two daughters.

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