Outdoor time calms us, focuses our mind, and gives life to our souls.
Jackson Reflects on His Day
Fifteen-year-old Jackson lay back in the patio lounge chair and looked at the sky. A soft breeze ruffled his hair. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. As he closed his eyes, the memory of the incident in the lunchroom returned.
“Hey, Jackson.” Brett put his lunch tray on the table across from Jackson and sat down. “Did you have that sub in government this morning?”
“He’s the worst. We’re going to boycott tomorrow. When he starts class, we’ll fold our arms and lean back in our chairs. We won’t take notes or open our tablets. He’ll get the idea.”
“What will that accomplish? It’s the school that hired a bad sub. And we’ll be in big trouble when Mrs. Barker gets back.”
Brett raised his eyebrows. “Afraid?”
Outdoor Time Helps Jackson See Solutions
Jackson opened his eyes, picked up a basketball, and headed around to the goal in the front drive. His response to Brett troubled him. Why hadn’t he said something that would halt the revolt? He dunked the ball, then dribbled around to make another shot. At least he could have mentioned the sub’s feelings. He jumped and slammed the ball into the hoop. The idea of not speaking up was a lump in his stomach that wouldn’t go away. Jackson backed off to make a long shot. Missed. He grabbed the rebound and dunked the ball again. Maybe tomorrow he’d find Brett before school. It wasn’t too late to do something. Picking up the ball, he saw Brett coming down the street. He dribbled around the drive as he waited for him.
Using Outdoor Time to Find Answers
Outside is a good place to be after school. Jackson’s mom insists that he go out for a while. She recognizes the value of physical exercise after a day of sitting. But there’s more. Disconnected from his phone, he’s free to think—on his own. He had a problem he needed to solve. And he didn’t need social media to suggest solutions. Closing his eyes on the patio and dunking balls on the drive both led to a solution. Solitude and physical activity. Both are essential for our well-being.
David was the most revered king of all Israel’s history, a man after God’s own heart, and an amazing writer of psalms. These personal attributes developed as he spent time alone outdoors. How else can we hear God if we don’t leave the distractions behind for a while?
And as so often happens, once Jackson sorted out the problem and possible solutions, his answer appeared. In fact, it came walking down the street.