by John Michalak
God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
I found a spider in the house recently. Considering my options, I realized I could: 1) do nothing and leave him be; 2) I could crush him under my foot; or, 3) I could put him outside. I put him outside.
Many of us approach God’s creation—with its oceans, trees, birds, and livestock—using one of these options. Some do nothing. The natural world never crosses their mind. Some like to crush nature: using it only for their consumption and survival. Still others choose to care for nature, occasionally at the expense of God or human beings.
What does it mean to represent God’s image as stewards of nature? Perhaps it’s a balance of all three. At times, we need to leave nature well enough alone. At times, it’s justified to harvest nature for our consumption. And sometimes, God wants us to go out of our way to let the spider live.
No matter which option we choose, we must always respect the responsibility and privilege of stewarding the gift of the natural world around us.
Prayer: Lord, give us wisdom to know when to do nothing, when to consume, and when to care for your creation.