A life spent in the natural rhythm of God’s creation is never wasted! I’m afraid we have taken the natural “wild” out of our everyday life and it has been replaced with an artificial wildness that only destructs.
What do you view as a waste of time? Do you think you must constantly be producing to be effectively managing your time and talents? Are you simply too busy to be found outdoors except on a rare outing? Have you applied this same philosophy to your children’s lives and education? If so, my dear friends, you are missing out!
The true purpose God made us for…
What is the true purpose God created us for? Answer: to tend the garden and keep it. Did God ever intend man to live indoors, away from the sun, the wind, the elements completely? Did God invent video games to dull the mind and body or grapevines for swinging?
If we get right down to it, we know the answer to the question in our heart. Our children and us are made for so much more then tablets and smartphones. We are made to experience more than a television series as our high adventure. You are made for danger, adventure and exploration! Our kids are made to climb trees, skin knees and build forts in the woods. We are made, quite simply, for a life lived in God’s creation.
Are there benefits to bringing the wild back to our lives?
Yes, yes, YES! Ask yourself this question. Where do I feel peaceful and alive? A crowded shopping mall or a nature hike in the woods? Ok, so some people might say the shopping mall, but I doubt they’re reading this post🤷 if we are completely honest we know the truth. The outdoors sets us free!
I see the tendency in my own life to get lazy and forgo romping in the woods with my kids for cleaning, cooking or internet. Honestly who would have imagined 30 years ago what hold the internet would have in our lives.
What can we do to put the wild back in our lives?
It seems like such an insurmountable task to step back. Technology has become our go-to. We go there for work, for entertainment, for mind-numbing, for friendship. Yes, sometimes I do all of those myself.
After all, I have a blog, and I sell products online. Technology has provided that for me. I can help my family financially and never leave the couch, but unfortunately it also comes with a price and an addicting grip if we aren’t watchful and diligent.
And I want my children to learn how to use this wisely, but I really want them to learn how to live a life that embraces a right sense of wildness. My 6 year old son cannot sit still. If I were to send him to public school he would be in trouble constantly. He gets into more trouble at home than the 9 year old and 3 year old combined. Inside, he pesters, argues and explodes. But outside..outside I rarely have to offer a word of reproof. It’s like suddenly what agitates his spirit and emotions is completely at peace. He’s happy, content and constructive in his play. Oh, if only he could be outdoors all day, every day I wonder if he would ever have an emotional meltdown?
If fact, I wonder what the percentage of individuals would be who had depression, anxiety and dementia if we just began to live a more wilderness based lifestyle? I’m not saying it would be 0 but I just wonder if we haven’t brought a ton of these illnesses and mental problems on ourselves by our lifestyles.
I know for a fact that when I spend too much time staring at a screen I get grouchy. When I stay indoors all day, I feel depressed. On the converse, when I have been outside all day, I feel pleasantly tired. I sleep well, I feel peaceful. I feel fulfilled. It doesn’t seem to matter if I got work done or not, though work done outside is a definite bonus!
Practically, how does it work?
It would be easy and simple to say that being out in the wild, exploring and learning is best for us and our children. It’s true! But how do you put that into practical application? Well, it will probably look a little different for each family and that’s ok! We’re all individuals!
Take a step out! Put away the tablet, smartphones and TV and just go outside. If you aren’t an outdoorsy person this may feel weird at first, but you’ll get used to it.
Let them explore, basically unfettered. Yeah, you’re the parent and you know that falling into the creek in January is freaking cold, but most likely they’ll be just fine if they do. Set some safeguards and just relax. Kids are extraordinarily resilient. I can’t count the number of times I got wet in freezing temperatures and nothing bad came from it.
Now, for the naysayers this is not an excuse to neglect your children..blah, blah, blah. I actually take extremely good care of my kids. I warn them of dangers and I don’t let them go into situations they aren’t prepared to handle. That being said, if my 9 year old doesn’t wear socks after I suggest them to him and he gets a blister because he walked 3 miles in boots without socks, well let’s just say, mommy doesn’t come running to the rescue. Bet he won’t do that again!
Take baby steps & don’t be discouraged!
Encourage a sense of wildness in your life and theirs. Don’t KNOW everything. Learn it, right along with them! You may be surprised that the wildness was just wahat you were missing too!