In The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis issues a warning about love of nature. It’s not that nature is a bad thing; contemplation of nature might lead us to contemplation of the One behind nature. However, we must not be led astray. When we look at nature, we are not seeing God but merely an image of His glory. Here is where Lewis offers a warning:
We must not try to find a direct path through it [nature] and beyond it to an increasing knowledge of God. The path peters out almost at once.
Terrors and mysteries, the whole depth of God’s counsels and the whole tangle of the history of the universe, choke it. We can’t get through; not that way.
What, then, is the proper path? Lewis continues,
We must make a detour—leave the hills and woods and go back to our studies, to church, to our Bibles, to our knees. Otherwise the love of nature is beginning to turn into a nature religion. And then, even if it does not lead us to the Dark Gods, it will lead us to a great deal of nonsense.
These words from Lewis have a special significance, I think, because he himself so greatly appreciated nature. We must keep everything in its proper perspective. Enjoy what God has created, but never allow His creation to be a substitute for Him.