This week’s guest blog addresses both the outdoors and nature spoke and the prayer/meditation and faith/spirituality spokes of the wellness wheel. Pat beautifully expresses the power of nature and the outdoors, combined with his love of photography in this post about connecting with peace and with God.

A Unique Way to Draw Near to God

By Pasquale Mingarelli
Woods - Nature Photo by Pasquale MingarelliDo You Want to Draw Near to God and find it difficult? Do the stresses of life hinder you from connecting with God?

I know the stresses of life get in my way and keep me from connecting with God. A lot of the stresses in our lives come from frivolous and wasteful things, but the good things in life can also fill our time. Family, friends, and work are all important aspects of our lives, but even those things can keep us from deepening our relationship God.

But is there is a place we can go to get away from what keeps us from connecting to God?

Yes! The outdoors is a great place where we can leave the distractions of life behind.

Many times in my life I have felt “under the pile”. Sometimes life just seems to come at me from all directions. Or maybe I have a big decision to make that will have a huge impact on my life and the lives of my family. Instead of tackling these things head on, I would look to get away and head outside.

Aspens in fall -  - Nature Photo by Pasquale MingarelliAlthough it seems counter intuitive, when I am supposed to be getting something done, I find it helpful to get away from it all and head outside. I get out in nature and let my mind drift. I don’t necessarily travel far away, like to some grand national park. That would be great, but I most often go to a local nature area.

When we step into the outdoors, we step away from the man-made world and into the God made world.

This action begins to free us from the distractions of life, especially when we turn our phone off. We don’t need it there. So, what if someone or some notification demands our time. Distractions robbing our time and stressing us is why we want to get away in the first place. To find peace and connection with God we need to say no to notifications.

In the outdoors we find freedom to let our mind drift. Let nature take your mind to a place away from the distractions, a place of peace you can meet with God.

When outdoors, some people like to find something that helps them forget about the distractions. Some like to just hike, but others like to birdwatch, kayak, rock climb, canoe or bike. I like to do many of those things, but my favorite thing to do is nature photography.

Nature photography can help you concentrate and think about what is around you instead of what is going on in the world.

You can wonder as we wander about looking for things in God’s creation to photograph. That wonder can help your mind drift towards God and away from the stresses and distractions.

Purple flowers  - Nature Photo by Pasquale MingarelliWe don’t have to find something spectacular to photograph. It can be something simple that catches our attention. As we photograph what captured our attention, we can ask ourselves, “What does this tell me about God?”

Questions like that can help our minds drift away from the world all the more and help us think about the goodness and greatness of God. Thinking about goodness of God as we photograph can lead us to a place of peace, a place we can find rest and contentment.

As a longtime professional photographer and nature photographer, I’ve learned that getting outside with a camera can help us better connect with God. And if you don’t own a special camera, go ahead and use your phone.

I know I suggested above to turn your phone off outdoors, but go ahead and use it as a camera. Just remember to keep it on airplane mode to keep the distractions and stress away.

So next time you feel life is coming at you too fast, decide to step away.

Head into the God made world with a camera and spend time with God photographing His creation. Connecting with the Creator as you photograph His creation will help you draw near to Him in a unique and special way.

The author, Pasquale Mingarelli, has been a professional photographer for 30 years. His work has appeared in over 50 different publications and he has authored the devotional “Drawing Near: Meeting God in His Creation.” He now helps people draw near to God through nature photography. Click this link to get his free “Drawing Near to God Through Nature Photography” newsletter and his “Ten Tips to Quickly Improve Your Photography.”

©2024 Lori Ann King

Additional Reading:

From my blog:

Book: Meeting god in His Creation, Drawing NearBuy Now:

Buy Pat’s Book: Drawing Near: Meeting God in His Creation 







Want to learn more about self-care and discover the spokes on your wellness wheel? Buy Wheels to Wellbeing.

Love what you’re reading? For just $1 a month, you can help me cover my costs and keep the words coming! Contribute now.