Three Early Church Leaders who Sought Encouragement in Nature

How do pastors keep from being discouraged, or find their way back to good spiritual health? According to the early Church leaders, one answer is science.

I’m reminded of a practice I picked up from a friend in college: once a year he would go camping with just a tent, sandals, a towel, a water supply, and a Bible, and would stay out until he could be content to just watch a stream flow or ants build their nest or some other simple aspect of nature. This for me ended up being an annual trip to be able to retrieve the ability to relax, something that work or classes or chores slowly stripped away from me.

Strangely enough, my relaxation on one camping trip came when I felt something zoom past my ear one night while I was watching the campfire slowly dying. It didn’t take me long to realize it was a bat swooping low over the river (I was camped on a gravel/sand bar) to catch nocturnal insects, so I just lay back on my back, closed my eyes, and listened for that bat to return. I recall five more swoops right above me and thought my visitor was happy i was out of the way since that allowed him/her to fly lower.

I don’t think I’m up to any such minimalist retreat any longer, or even sleeping in my truck, but I really ought to figure out a way to do this once summer arrives!


God is Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Science is about the Creation, whose Source is the God. the Father Creator. That is why science and faith are not really in conflict, but people of faith can indeed find inspiration in science. There are times when they seem to be in conflict because we do not understand clearly one or the other or both. That is how we grow in understanding.

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