The sky was full of fluffy white clouds that floated dreamily overhead. The sun was bathing the land in a warm, soothing light. The trees proudly displayed their leaves of dazzling green, stretching to meet the sky. It was springtime, and all of nature was celebrating. My kindergarten students, however, were less than cheerful, pressing their noses almost up to the windowpane in our classroom, gazing longingly outside. As I watched their desire to be outside grow with each finger pointing to the various aspects of the fair weather day that were on display, I was struck with an idea of divine measure.
“Who wants to go on an adventure?” I asked, closing my teachers’ manual and reaching for my sunglasses.
“To where?” the curious faces of my students contorted as they tore their fixed looks away from the glass and regarded me with hesitance.
“To God’s symphony,” I replied confidently. “Let’s go.”
LET NATURE PRAISE HIM
With a bible in my hand, I led my students outside where we sat down in a circle near the fence on the far edge of the playground. There, I instructed the children to calm their bodies, and led them in a few rounds of deep breathing to make sure all the wiggles worked their way out of their small forms before we settled in. Then, I engaged my students in a discussion of God’s great love for the physical world He has created.
We started with an examination of scripture, and the beauty of God’s creation as presented to us through the Word. In particular, we discussed the following three verses:
- “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3) – My students and I talked about God’s presence; how nothing and no one would be alive or present on the earth were it not for the great work of His hands. Everything that we could see, hear, touch, and smell (no tasting of the wood chips on the playground, please!) were gifts from God, and we were taking this opportunity to slow down and recognize the joy of everything that surrounded us.
- “The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love” (Psalm 33:5) – Every element of nature that we embraced in those moments outside were a direct result of God’s love, and we, as His followers, have a responsibility to act in a responsible, loving manner toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, because that is God’s expectation for each of us. The world is a beautiful place, in part because of the commitment put forth by the service of God’s followers. It is up to us to acknowledge the beauty that is all around us and do all we can to make sure that His natural creation is preserved for others.
- “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1) – Even nature praises God because He is good! My students and I talked about the ways that we see nature proclaim the goodness of God through its reverence and devotion to Him. Everything that God has created returns the love that He has put forth through their very effort and presence. We are called to do the same – to declare His glory and proclaim the work of His hands with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our soul.
A HEAVENLY ARRANGEMENT
After discussing the Word of scripture as it relates to the natural world, I encouraged my students to close their eyes, and listen to the symphony that God was playing, just for us, using the instruments of nature. We talked about the sounds they heard, and what role they thought those sounds played in God’s concert. The ideas that my students came up with and shared with one another were astounding; it was evident that God’s love was not lost on them:
- The echo of a frog’s call, croaking from somewhere in the park beyond the playground was identified as a drum – its steady “ribbit!” providing the drum line needed to serve as the backbeat for the symphony. When several other frogs became to chime in, the drum became the percussion section, with varying tones being played.
- A low flying bee, quietly humming as it buzzed in between the rungs on the monkey bars became a violin having a solo performance, while the quiet wind, rustling through the leaves of the trees surrounding the playground was known as the rest of the strings section.
- Squirrels, playfully running up and down the bark of a tree trunk were likened to a rain stick, gravelly in sound, but ultimately soothing and complementary to the rest of the orchestra.
- The birds swooping and flying overhead, cheerfully contributing their song to the symphony became the wind section, specifically the flutes, as their tones were higher pitched than the other instruments.
- Finally, a few of my students started humming and singing, quietly at first, and then with increasing confidence as they discovered their classmates were also contributing to the song of the skies. While not necessarily an object found exclusively outside in nature, my students instinctively knew their place, adding to the glory of His creation, and coming together in communion to acknowledge His love.
I am sure we could have identified many more instruments playing in God’s symphony that afternoon, but the school day was coming to a close, and backpacks needed to be packed before heading home. Reluctantly, my students and I gave a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God for His endless presence and the gift of the natural world, before our adventure came to an end and we headed back inside.
In this coming season of warm weather, I encourage you to engage your own children in a trip to God’s symphony. The adventure is well worth the free price of admission, and the experience will leave both you and your children filled with a sense of awestruck wonder about the greatness of our God.
A Little More About Rebecca
Rebecca Flasz is a passionate lifestyle writer, world traveler, and dream seeker. For her, life is an adventure, and there is always a new experience to be had and written about. Rebecca believes that she is contributing to furthering the mission of God by bringing her stories of spiritual inspiration to others.