Scottish-American John Muir (1838– 1914) was raised by a Christian father who placed great emphasis on Scripture memory. By young adulthood, John allegedly could recite from memory all of the New Testament and large portions of the Old Testament.
As a young man, Muir developed a great love for God’s creation and viewed it as a source for understanding God. Historian Dennis Williams says that Muir referred to creation as the “Book of Nature.” While exploring the wilderness, he was able to study the plants and animals in an environment that “came straight from the hand of God, uncorrupted by civilization and domestication.” Muir went on to lead the forest conservation movement and was instrumental in creating many US national parks, including Yosemite, Sequoia, and Mount Rainier.
To nurture the spiritual interest of children and youth, we should primarily focus on the Bible. But we can also take them to God’s outdoor classroom, where we can cultivate their love for the Creator by showing the majesty of creation: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20).