Exploring Our Father’s World…

Having grown up in the heart of the Appalachian mountains I sometimes struggle with the lack of trees in our new home, so we decided to take advantage of a rare open weekend and spend a few days in nature as a family. As it turns out, Nagoya, the 3rd largest city in Japan (over 2 million pop.), is just a few hours away from the most breathtaking mountains, beautiful coastlines, and sprawling green areas streaked with rivers and waterfalls.

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As the mountains grew larger in the windshield, I was reminded of the words to my favorite hymn:

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.

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How could I not fall to my knees and sing praises to the one who created all of these beautiful things? I often find myself forgetting how big God is – and when I see the overwhelming size of a mountain like Mt. Fuiji and recognize the power of destruction that exists in a technically active volcano I am also reminded of the great power of our God – the creator of all of these magnificent things!

This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

I loved seeing a new corner of Japan and learning to share the Japanese people’s love and appreciation for nature. They build bridges with no real value other than being beautiful and allowing you to see better views of the beautiful surrounding valleys and mountains…

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and build suspended bridges and ropeways so that you can make sure to experience the beauty of the surrounding nature from every possible angle!

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A sad part of the culture to me is that every time we are amazed by a beautiful view it doesn’t take long to see a manmade shrine built up near it in order to worship. Shintoism (one of the major religions of the japanese) has a large element of worshiping nature.

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When I saw Mount Fuji in all of his glory towering over us my first reaction was: of course a lot of Japanese people worship Mt. Fuji! The majesty of the mountain was so great that my immediate reaction was to worship. Fortunately, I know the creator of that  mountain and can direct my worship to the one who deserves the praise! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of the Japanese people directed their worship to the one who created it all? Would you join us in praying for our friends and neighbors here – that they could rest in the thought that the rocks, trees, skies and seas were made by God’s hands?

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4 thoughts on “Exploring Our Father’s World…

  1. Brooks and Riva – Thanks so much for those beautiful pictures!! i too love that hymn, This is My Father’s World; when i taught grammar school music at FCS, that was a regular hymn we would sing. You all remain in my prayers! love, Suzy

  2. I’m so glad that y’all had some family time away from the hustle and bustle of every day life…keep resting and offering rest…

    We love you,
    Jonathan and Leah and Jude

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