I love to watch the antics of our local wildlife. The chipmunks are expert tunnelers. I’m never quite sure where they will pop up next. On the other hand, their cousins, the squirrels, weave sturdy nests high in some of our trees. I’ve never know them to be blown down in a storm. The wrens and hummingbirds exhibit amazing skill in crafting and hiding their nests. And who can thwart a raccoon that wants to get into a compost bin?
There is, however, a qualitative difference between their skills and that of humans. A couple of days ago a dental surgeon extracted a troubling molar. He was skilled and personable! I’m quite amazed at the continual development in the field of dentistry—so much improved over the clunky drills scared me as a child.
The whole range of human achievement is astounding: in medicine, in engineering, in computer science, and in avionics, to name a few. While all creatures show skills suitable to their environment, humans continually invent, create, and imagine, as well as modify their environment. Non-human creatures have little or no ability to innovate or create. Arguably, their ability to create music, literature, or art is non-existant.
Why is this, if we are but evolved animals? Where did consciousness come from? How did we learn to communicate, invent, dream? From God, of course.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet….
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:3-9)
God made us just a little lower than the angels and gave us the responsibility to be His stewards on earth. He gave us glory and honor and as custodians, He expects us to use our faculties to do good both to one another and to the earth.
Inspired by this creativity, much good has been done in medicine, in dentistry, in agriculture, indeed in every field of human endeavor. But sadly, much evil has also been invented and perpetrated on others and much destruction has been visited on the good earth God gave us. When we do good, we live up to our mandate and bring God honor. When we do evil, we do much more damage than raccoons or sharks.
Let’s use our creativity to do onto others (including the environment) as we would have them do onto us.