Last week Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. As the principal of a school that deeply values time outside in God’s creation, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few things here!
The abrupt end to normal life due to COVID-19 has highlighted for me the importance of the created world in new ways. For starters, I’m spending much more time behind a screen. My family’s daily walks outside are in stark contrast to my time sitting behind the blue light of my computer. Technology has proven to be a wonderful gift, a way to connect while physically separated, yet it is outside that I feel most connected to our Creator. Each flower and bird song speaks to God‘s creativity, goodness, and love.
The Psalmist reminds us of this truth in Psalm 19:1-2: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”
What is more, I think the sense of fullness we feel outdoors is an intrinsic part of the way God fashioned us. My 19-month-old son, Leon, will stick with an indoor task for somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 seconds if I’m lucky. But outside, he will spend 90 minutes investigating a pile of dirt!
At Rockford Christian, we know the value of meaningful and integrated outdoor education. The woods, meadows, and natural areas of our campus are truly a second classroom for our students. When school begins in-person again, our teachers will have a whole new repertoire of technology to support student learning. That is good, but you can be sure we will be spending lots of time learning outside as well.
I hope during this period of off-campus learning you and your family might also take your learning outdoors. Wonder in God’s Creation and be reminded of His love for us!