Looking for Nature, Finds Paradise
A young man majoring in philosophy and religion at Oregon’s Pacific University became deeply involved in taking and selling drugs. He also relates: “The studies in religion that I had gone into were enough for me to be convinced that I didn’t want anything to do with religion.” Disillusioned, he quit school and moved into the woods. “I began working in the woods,” he explains, “feeling that this was as close as I would ever get to God, just being close to nature.” But he continued using drugs and alcohol.
“When I would pick up my mail at the post office,” he says, the woman who ran it “would tell me that I should stop doing the things I’d been doing; that God had in mind a ‘paradise’ here on earth . . . The idea of people living on the earth in a paradise was new to me.” So he began to study the Bible with the postwoman’s son. On this, he comments: “The fact that we would have the opportunity to live on a beautiful planet in the woods and by the streams and whatnot—these things really appealed to my love of nature. So I really began to take it seriously and to try to change my habits.” In time the Bible-based hope of paradise helped this young man to clean up his life.