Cruising Route 66
“Ownership or Partnership”
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)
Welcome to Ben’s Quill!
Over the last decade I have had the privilege of seeing a wide variety of God’s creative genius stroll through my yard. It wasn’t unusual to spot a coyote, red-tailed fox, black bear, wild pig, or alligator wandering through the neighborhood. Stepping out in the morning to watch the sunrise it felt like I had entered an aviary. Sandhill cranes, egrets, storks, ducks, owls, hawks, and bald eagles were all common sights, but that’s not the case anymore.
The tall trees and thick vegetation are gone. The heavy undergrowth that many of these creatures had come from has disappeared. In its place are streets, sidewalks, manicured lawns, and cookie cutter houses. I wonder if that is what God had in mind when He told us to take dominion over His garden?
Like any journey along “Route 66,” we must start some place, and of course the best place to start is at the beginning. Let me encourage you, take a few moments and read the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis. It won’t take you more than ten minutes or so. There you will find a simple road map of God’s intent, and the detours of the human experiment.
When it comes to human existence and importance, a battle gets waged between the secular and religious. I have friends who reject or doubt the existence of God, who feel that the concept of a sovereign, intelligent creator undermines the independence and significance of man’s purpose. Some have stated that the creative order described in Genesis chapter one demonstrates that the God of the Bible desires humanity to be nothing more than a mere pawn. To put stock in the Bible’s claims goes against the secular view of individual responsibility and human innovation.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Human importance, autonomy, advancement, and God’s sovereignty, supremacy, and authority are not opposing ideas.
Read Genesis chapter one, without putting into gear your pre-established judgements and opinions. Just read it, and you will see that God’s desire and purpose for bringing man into existence was for partnership, to unite with His creation and form a bonding relationship. All that has been put into place is for mankind’s benefit. It was given to us to enjoy and care for. He has given us dominion, not ownership. We are to oversee and care for God’s creation, as wise, compassionate stewards. It is not ours to do with as we please, to use and discard, but rather to nurture and cultivate.
I’m saddened to see nature’s menagerie fade away around me, but I’m blessed with a beautiful home, safe sidewalks to walk on, and smooth streets to take me where I want to go. I wonder if my comfortable life has infringed on my responsibilities as a caretaker. Maybe. Am I willing to discard the creature comforts I’ve grown used too? No, but maybe I should take note and not ignore the impact I am making.
Whether you agree with a divine provider or not, ask yourself this question, “What are you doing with the world you have been given?”
See ya next week.