Entertainment preferences vary widely. Disney World. Live Shakespearean Theatre. A Friday night movie. TV. Skiing. Reading a book. Mary Helen and I can relate to many of these, but we also enjoy a rather unique form of amusement.
Few would class the antics of wild turkeys as entertaining. But to us they are, living as we do along a country road with scattered fields and patches of woodland. Whenever one of us whispers, turkeys, we drop whatever we are doing and tip-toe to the nearest window.
“Look, there’s 11, no 13, no 17 coming up from the stream.” How is this possible when turkeys were completely exterminated in Ontario for over a century? Fortunately, in 1984 and 1987 they were re-introduced in scattered places all over Ontario.
As a result, our picture window gives us a ring-side seat to live entertainment. Mary Helen whispers, “Quick, a dozen turkeys are marching single file down the road as if they own the county. Look at that huge gobbler leading his harem.” We can now view a sight that disappeared for 100 years!
But is restoring turkeys to our environment a worthy effort? Hunters will quickly affirm its validity. So will our grandchildren. But others of us? What does it really matter?
Well, when “God made the birds that fly above the earth…the wild animals according to their kinds…God saw that it was good…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”(Gen.1:20,25,31). God created man and woman to enjoy and care for his marvelous creation including all its creatures.
God’s creation mandate to manage the earth and its resources in a benevolent way has not been rescinded. We are responsible to care for the earth and all its creatures. Our exalted position in the biosphere does not give us the right to destroy species, despoil the earth, or pollute the seas. God will hold us accountable not only for how we treat one another but for how we handle that which He created good.
As the Lord gives us opportunity, we should endeavor to restore despoiled portions of the earth and to treasure the diversity that occurs here. Somewhere among the plethora of plants and creatures there may be a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s. What gives us the unmitigated gall to think we may blithely destroy what God has created? May the Lord give us a more responsible and balanced perspective.
So, if you’re out our way you may be surprised by a huge flock of turkeys searching for fallen seeds in a soybean field or even on our lawn, as happened the other day. Thank God for the earth’s fantastic bounty and diversity!