I went on a journey. Presented with an opportunity, what I then believed to be a once in a lifetime chance, I joined thirty-some fellow collegians on a field trip to the southwestern United States.  Billed as an ecological field trip through the biology department, we studied the wildlife and habitats of rattlesnakes, kangaroo rats, and other creatures in the lower Sonoran desert.

For the first time, during this first real adventure of my young life, I was completely out of my element, experiencing group camping, all-night van rides, showerless days, strange foods, and stranger company.

During that journey, I encountered an incredible world I’d never really thought about before.  Was I asleep the first twenty years of life?  For what I saw and heard in the West left me speechless, silent, and contemplative.

One of our stops was Grand Canyon National Park. When I stood on the edge of the canyon, I was bowled by the realization that the incredible panorama was a beautiful, hand-carved creation. The education I’d received to that point was turned on its head.  This was not an accident; not some strong, random erosion over incredible spans of time.  The hand of God created this.

Photograph of the Grand Canyon

Visitors to the Grand Canyon know how it is to stand on the rim and stare.  Every point you stare at, you see even more.  Look deep, and there are endless folds, crevices, cliffs, and colors!  As the light settles in the western sky, the colors expand into a fierce visual feast of vivid oranges and reds.  I looked at this and thought a thought I’ve come back to again and again.  This is a bunch of rocks and dried dirt.  It didn’t have to be beautiful, but it was.  Not only did God architect an amazing and huge canyon, he made it gorgeous as well.

Many people have had that spiritual experience.  For some, it may be during the close examination of a rose.  For others, it’s when they hold their firstborn the first time. They realize, like I, that someone incredibly intelligent and powerful made our world.

That’s Natural Revelation, when, by experiencing the world around you, you come to the realization that God is, that He made the universe and all that’s in it, that He is not a creation of our imagination or longings, but that He created us with imagination and innate longing for Him.