Like many others over the holidays, my family and I decided to camp out in the ‘wilderness’ of our backyard. We had all the essentials; a roaring fire, contagious laughter, bush damper, the tent, fluffy marshmallows, and blood-sucking mosquitoes.
For a brief exciting moment, it really did feel like we were in a BCF ad and not in suburbia. The twinkling balls of gas we know as stars, the crickets harmonising in a nearby shrub and the wonder of nightfall all made for an Instagram-worthy photo.
The obscurity and uniqueness of the situation wasn’t lost on me. In exactly 16 steps, I could be back in the comfort and convenience of electricity, espressos, WIFI and warm water. It was two different worlds separated by a patio and a sliding glass door.
After the tent had been set up, the serenity of the environment can calm and alter any mood (notice I said the calming effect comes after the tent is set up).
There was no doubt that in the backyard I was relaxed. Life had paused and I was using all five of my senses as I became more acutely aware of everything around me.
Environments have the ability to change and impact us. They can foster or fracture. Atmospheres in homes have the power to delight or to destroy. And yet often we overlook and negate the responsibility of the tone and temperature of those environments.
We set the environments of our homes, families and marriages. We set the atmospheres with our friends and colleagues.
You can either be a thermostat or a thermometer. You can influence and determine the ‘vibe’ or the ‘feel’, or you can just measure it and do nothing about it.
David understood the value and power of atmospheres. He was able to change the environment with a musical instrument for Saul who was greatly distressed.
1 Samuel 16:23 (MSG)
…David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.
In this season of your life, how can you impact the environments you are placed in? Rather than being passive, be deliberate in creating the environments you desire for relationships, faith and life to flourish.