One of my favorite quotes is by J.R.R. Tolkien: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Here I'm giving glimpses of all I am deciding in the time that is given to me. Enjoy! All pictures and posts are mine, thank you! Please ask permission for photo use.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

thoughts on creation

Lately I've been listening to the unabridged audio version of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book while driving in my car. Not only is it a collection of fun and meaningful stories (almost fables, really), it reminds me that humans are not the be all and end all of creation. I'm fascinated with Kipling's imagination and his deep understanding of things that he observed in the natural world. (Note: if you've only ever seen the Disney movie--which I happen to love!--do yourself a favor and read Kipling. You won't regret it.)

Coincidentally, I'm also in the midst of reading The Bible and Ecology by Richard Bauckham for a book group. These passages by Bauckham really jumped out at me and kindle in me similar feelings I get as I listen to The Jungle Book:

"The human dominion assigned by God in Genesis 1:26 was over all living things. Norman Habel argues that God's answer to Job subverts and undermines the Genesis mandate of dominion. At the very least we must say that it puts another side to the picture...It strikes a blow at the anthropocentrism and hubris that are encouraged by treatment of the dominion as the only thing that needs to be said about the human relationship to other creatures. It is also important that other creatures have their own lives, given them by God, that can be fulfilled only in independence of humans. Job is not the centre or the apex of the animal world. He is a creature among others."

"We do not need to say that we are the only creatures with moral values or that we are the only creatures conscious of God. The point is that we have that kind of awareness of God and that kind of moral sense that enable us to feel and to exercise responsibility in creation on such a large scale. It cannot be that other creatures in no way reflect their Creator, but that we have a particularly broad participation in God's governance of creation and need therefore also to reflect God's care for God's whole creation on this Earth."

Below: a strenuous hike in the Black Hills, SD in a wilderness area reminded me of just how vulnerable humans are, and that I am "a creature among others." In an area where you're in the animals' territory and a guest passing through, where weather or wild things can take your life, there's humbleness and humility in the place of hubris.

Below: when I visited Hopewell Furnace in PA and did some in Hopewell Big Woods, I sensed a feeling of smallness relative to the creation around me and was in awe of this very old, majestic forest. I also got to bond with a sweet horse at the national historic site! He was just as majestic as the forest and for me a kindred spirit.

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