Friday, January 6, 2017

Christian Outdoor Activity Lesson: Design In Nature



Key Text

“The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” Psalm 111:2 (KJV)

Lesson

Note: This activity comes from the book A Family Guide to Sabbath Nature Activities by Eileen E. Lantry which is highly recommended.


Activity Type:
Experiential


Time:
Duration of your hike or walk.


Goal:
To discover how God used shapes and symmetry in nature to achieve beauty. Teach participants to be observant and admiring of nature. Keep participants engaged during hikes.


Material:
A notebook or scrapbook for each Pencil and colored pencils for sketching. A box or bag for nature items collected. A camera (optional).


Instructions:
This activity can become a staple of your outings. As the author notes, “There is no limit to the possibilities you may achieve… as you awaken an interest in God's magnificent artistry in designs in nature by creative thought, thrilling observation, exciting collecting.”1 This activity is also great for introducing inner city participants to the beauty of nature.

“Set aside at least three pages each in your notebook or scrapbook for the three kinds of lines: 1. Straight lines. 2. Curved lines. 3. The S-curve.”1 As you walk look for examples of these three types of lines in nature. Stop to examine what you see. Focus only on God’s created things. Write down your discoveries, draw them, or photograph them. If possible, collect or preserve specimens (make sure this is permissible in your area, some locations prohibit picking flowers).

Straight Line Examples: 1. Bills of many other birds: hummingbird, kingfisher, 2. Last joint on the legs of most insects, called tarsus. 3. Segments on the long, slender abdomens of dragonflies 4. Center vertical trunk of trees. Curved Line Examples: 1. Blades of grass. 2. Stems of plants. 3. Tails of most animals. The S-Curve: Examples: 1. Necks of herons, swans, and many ducks. 2. A snake in motion. 3. A crawling worm.

This activity can be done with many other shapes as well such as circles, triangles, squares, spheres, crosses, bilateral symmetry, etc. The book contains spiritual applications for these and more! 

Possible Lesson

Spiritual application as stated by the author: “Lines are infinite, endless, stretching on and on. The harmony of the beauty of nature, like the music of a mighty orchestra, stretches on and on like an endless line, giving joy and pleasure. It can illustrate the worldwide progress of the everlasting gospel of Jesus with its limitless outreach. Like a straight line there is no end. Then in another sense straight lines often determine limits or boundaries. God commands nature as well as men, ' 'Thus far; no farther." To stay within the limits or boundaries of God's will for us brings only joy, peace, and happiness. Going beyond the LINE or limit of God's will places us on Satan's ground, which ultimately brings trouble, disaster, and unhappiness.”1

“Curved lines are more graceful and more numerous in nature than straight lines. The soft, curved lines are not only more beautiful to the eye but more relaxing. In this exciting, stressful world, God placed the restful curved line everywhere as a reminder to 'come apart" and enjoy the quiet calm and peace of knowing Him. Nature's endless use of curved lines is like the words of Jesus, "Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give. set your troubled hearts at rest, and banish your fears." John 14:27, N.E.B. He also placed the curved line of the rainbow in the sky, a sign of His promise to all.”1


Sources

1 Eileen E. Lantry, A Family Guide to Sabbath Nature Activities, (Boise: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1980), 25-28.

Written By David F. Garner
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

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