I’ll be the first to admit that I am far from being an “outdoorsy” person. I’m not a fan of bugs or heat and nature often has both of those things. With that said, some of the most powerful and memorable spiritual experiences I have had, have happened while being in creation. This has especially been true while living here in Zambia.
Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is the largest sheet of falling water on the planet, twice the height of Niagara Falls. We have had the honor of seeing the falls seven or eight times now and it never gets old. During the rainy season, or just after it has finished, the Zambezi river is full and the falls are raging with incredible power. When it is full like this and you are standing face to face with the falls, it literally takes your breath away. You feel it’s power all around you. It’s raining down from above and up from below. Numerous times I have experienced the falls in its intensity and I physically couldn’t help but smile, laugh, and get a little emotional. You feel so small and completely taken away in the majesty of it all.
Animals & Trees
One of the benefits of leading teams in Zambia is that we get to join them when they go on game drives to see some of the animals and trees in Zambia. The Mopani tree is absolutely brilliant. It’s leaves are shaped like butterflies and they open and close depending on how much sunlight they need at the time. Also, they have a defense mechanism to protect themselves from being completely depleted of their leaves from feeding animals. If the Mopani tree is being stripped it is able to release a chemical that will cause it’s leaves to become incredibly bitter and make the animal spit them out and leave immediately. I never even thought of trees being this complex and intricate.
In addition to the various trees and vegetation, I have gotten to see: snakes, lizards (big and small), wart hogs, wildebeests, crocodiles, hippos, impalas, waterbuck, monkeys, water buffalo, giraffe, and elephants. All of these animals are so diverse and so interesting in how they live and relate to the rest of creation. This morning while searching to find various animals we found ourselves in the middle of a massive herd of 200+ elephants. They divided themselves into three of four groups and completely surrounded us. Everyone (including our guide) was completely in awe while in the presence of these mammoth animals. One of the most striking images we saw, was of a baby elephant (about two weeks old) walking beside it’s mother. I don’t even have words for how this image strikes me, and if I did, it would probably just rob it of it’s beauty and power.
Although I love drums, guitars, pianos, and beautiful voices, we don’t need them to be led into worship. We simply need to take notice of the creation our Creator has brought to life. Creation has been leading in worship from the beginning of time and continually points to a God who is far beyond our songs, our imagination, and our theologies. Watch a sunrise, a sunset, a lightning storm, a lake…and just sit in awe of the One who has created it all.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)