The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Five places to find God this spring

This week, the staff of The Lutheran welcomes back Nicole Adamson, who was one of our summer interns in 2005. She writes about the promise of spring and ways to find God outdoors. Watch The Lutheran for Adamson’s report from the ELCA National Youth Gathering later this year.

It’s amazing how more aware I become of God’s presence when spring sets in. Just by sitting on the grass, I’m reminded of past summers as a camp counselor at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center near Oregon, Ill., telling campers to look for God in the land around them—in the trees, the prairie, the pond. Even at home in Chicago, springtime tunes me in to God’s creation.

For me it’s more challenging to see God in the winter. Sitting at my computer, I don't see a link for God popping up on my screen. I take my normal running routine inside, but God doesn’t make an appearance on the treadmill. As I rush back to my apartment after classes and shut out the cold air, I’m soon caught up in the bureaucracy that is college, and God is often shut out as well.

We make so much of every detail in our lives, from tackling traffic to counting calories, that sometimes we need to take a big gulp and take in the big picture.

With the Lenten season and spring now beginning, it’s time to start fresh and open our hearts to God. And sometimes just opening your door is the best way to start. Spend a little time outside this spring, and it won’t take long before your God radar kicks in.

Five places to find God this spring:

On a picnic: Pack a basket and gather friends or family for a picnic lunch. Eating outside is a way to feel even closer to the earth and appreciate the food that God provides.

Under the stars: Lie on your back and marvel at God’s universe. If you live in an urban area, get out so the city lights don’t steal the show.

In the songs of birds: Check out a book from the library and look up the songs of birds in your area. Head out to a nature preserve and try to match them to their artists.

In yourself: Next time you find yourself working out in the yard, offer to plant flowers for your neighbors or mow their lawn.

On a long walk or run through the forest preserve: Finding God can be as simple as breathing in the fresh air, smelling the flowers and soaking up the natural beauty around you.

This week's front page features:

This week on our blog:

Andrea Pohlmann looks for signs of sping when it feels like winter.

Amber Leberman (right) blogs about her visit to the Greater Milwaukee Synod's congregational leaders' event this past Saturday.

Elizabeth Hunter writes about how a game with her 22-month-old son turned into an etymological examination of the word "paddy-wagon."

Kathleen Kastilahn blogs about her Irish heritage, the legend of St. Patrick, and celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Chicago where it's proclaimed that "Everybody's Irish!"

Check out our blog (and leave a comment) > > >

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February issue


Embracing diversity