This Is My Father’s World

by Colonel Ivan K. Rock

As I make my way through the Scottish Highlands, I am astonished by the utter beauty of the sun reflecting off the tranquil waters of Loch Ness, the lush green foliage crowding the shores, and the crisp, clean air filling my lungs. How can anyone who experiences this stunning natural beauty not feel the overwhelming presence of a loving God? Every sight, sound, smell, and touch is a wonderful reminder of this precious gift that our Fatherhas bestowed upon us. Thank you, Lord, for your presence. Thank you, Lord, for your love.

This gift of nature has been with us for ages. And throughout these ages, amid His creation, we have encountered the presence and love of our Father. But it was not until 1970 that the modern environmental movement, marked by Earth Day, dawned. Every April 22, over 1 billion people from 193 countries unite in their intention to help this world thrive. By planting trees, picking up trash, fighting pollution, encouraging recycling, and building awareness of deforestation, we are making a difference in this world.

As Salvationists, we have the privilege of protecting this world for our children and grandchildren. What an honor to steward this precious gift that God has given us.

Many of us have a special place in nature where we feel the overwhelming presence of our Heavenly Father. For some, this is a park or hiking path. Salvationists often think of enjoying our divisional camp, sitting lakeside, or walking through the woods. What a privilege. What a joy.

As I walk through the stunning natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands, I cannot help but renew my commitment to ensuring that this gift of God remains intact for generations to come. This April 22, Earth Day, let us all acknowledge and celebrate this amazing gift. As Maltbie Babcock reminds us:

“This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears,
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought.”