I went for a walk this morning with Mrs. Googly Moogly. It wasn’t a casual walk as such…it was more like an exercise walk. Even so, because our walk takes us through the open space behind our neighborhood, we’re able to enjoy some of God’s Creation while “working” on the upkeep of His “temples”. But even before we left our porch in the front of our house to work our way down the sidewalk and to the path that leads to the open space behind us, we were greeted by thoughts of Creation as a fox eyed us from our front yard. He was simply looking for food, maybe a rabbit or a mole or any other rodent that enjoys vandalizing our beautiful lawns and plants. We hesitated at the sight of him. He was rather small and scrawny looking, like he hadn’t eaten in while; but we watched him as he watched us, and we slowly pirouetted around each other so we could all get back to the business at hand.
He actually started following us a little ways down the sidewalk, as if he were trying to decide if it was worth it to try to take a chunk of meat out our calves. He would trot along beside us and a little behind us, ducking behind a bush here, a car there, never really taking his eyes off of us. We weren’t really scared or anything. I mean…come on…I use the BowFlex practically every day! Between the two of us, we could take him! He may have been able to get a snack off us (a little off the forearm, a little calve, a little gluteus maximus), but he’d be the worse for ware because of it, believe you me! It was just a little strange to see him there, not in “nature”.
“Nature”: What does that even mean? By listening to some people talk, it seems to mean everything that is not human; as if human beings are “aliens” to this world. But even by Darwinian standards, that kind of thinking won’t fly. Whether we came from some chemical reactions in pond scum, or a freak genetic mutation in a species of Apes, according to Darwin we most definitely are a (natural) product of this world. Maybe we mean everything that exists that is not made by human hands? Well, if that’s the case, then we could say that a “beaver damn” is unnatural because it was made by beavers’…I don’t know, hands...feet...claws? Or that an anthill is unnatural because it was made by ants’…well…whatever parts of their body they use. Unless we think humans beings have ever made anything ex nihilo, we can’t say that what is made by human hands is unnatural anymore than we can say that about any creature and what they make. The only things that can be made (by anything that is not God) are made from existing material. We can change the form of “matter” (nature), but we cannot create it or destroy it—this is grade school stuff. Well…it was grade school stuff “back in the day”, now it might not even be High School stuff!
So, this thing we call “nature” must be everything that exists in this universe, right? If “matter” cannot be created out of nothing, and it can only be changed or manipulated into different forms and chemical consistency, then “nature” is simply the changing scenery of the environment around us—the Universe and everything in it. The “natural world” is what it is…all the time! Now I’m not saying this to excuse us as human beings from our lack of care for our environment, we should be good stewards or managers of the world in which we live; but, my point is that unless we have a proper understanding of this thing so commonly referred to as “nature”, we have no real basis or foundation for a true and proper understanding of the integration of all things within this Cosmos. Nature just is…there’s no ought to be found in “nature”.
“Creation”, however, is another story. And since I don’t want to be long-winded—hey...waddya mean it’s too late! If you think I’m bad, just ask our pastor a question…about anything! You’ll get a full redemptive-historical overview just to provide the context for his answer! Well, he’s not quite that bad; but you’d better check your watch to make sure you have time for the answer before you even think about asking him a question. Anyway, since I don’t want to be long-winded, I’ll finish this post later. And to give you hint of where I’m going with this, somewhere down the line Shalom will be mentioned—Surprise! Surprise!