“Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.” 1 Chronicles 16: 29
The Psalms are replete with natural imagery. The psalmist sings of everything from the glory of God to the loneliness of the individual soul in exile. With that inspiration, I have curated a list of lines from the Psalms which can be used to frame a hike or time spent in nature. I hope the verses will offer a holy lens that enriches both the time outdoors and the hiker’s relationship with scripture. There are two options – one for children and youth and one for adults.
Excerpts from A Holy Hike with Psalms for Children and Youth
“They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.” Psalm 1:3
“My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.” Ps 17:5
“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” Ps. 61:2-3
Excerpts from A Holy Hike with Psalms for Adults
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” Psalm 8:6
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” Ps. 62:1-2
“Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord,” Ps. 98:7-8
Ways To Use The Verrses
- Choose one psalm excerpt and carry it with you. When during your hike does it speak the loudest?
- Keep this list in mind:
- trees and plants
- the heavens
- a path
- mountains and valleys
- When you are reminded of one of the words, rest and reflect with the psalm offered. How does the psalm change the way you feel?
The Rev. Noah Van Niel is the Associate Rector at The Chapel of the Cross, in Chapel Hill North Carolina. One of the things he loves to do most with his family is explore the wonderful trails and forests around their home.