There is a temptation for people to confuse ‘nature’ (the wilderness) with nature music videos – which they watch wistfully on polished screens. If they actually set foot in the wilderness, there’s a likelihood they would set their foot in dung.
Let’s say you take a thousand pictures of the wilderness, just looking any which way; then pick out all the nice shots: the flower, the sunset, the silhouetted tree – and get rid of them. You’ve already seen those. All the 99.99% of the pictures – random shots into twigs and weeds and mud and dust – are equally wilderness, and 99.99% percent of it. No rule of thirds, no golden rectangle, no balanced or framed shots – the selection and composing of these is indeed man-made art, and what is man-made is not wilderness any more than a skyscraper.
Skyscrapers are a part of nature – the natural world, God’s creation – as much as any ragged bird’s nest. The fake idea of the wilderness being pristine and pretty has been used to fuel an arrogance of man-made prettiness and tidiness, and at the same time despising of things man-made as being not of God’s creation.
Prettiness is not wrong – blanket despising of man-made things is wrong. And arrogance, whether on behalf of neatness and prettiness or any other reason, is deadly wrong. Neatness and polish are a gift of God – which, like wealth, must be rigorously kept in its place, because it is beset with temptations to evil against God.
Can God trust you with this gift?