Wisdom Created in the Garden
by Dan Kidd
Have you ever seen or experienced something that made you marvel over God's creation? I've had several such experiences, one of which came to me at almost exactly a year ago. I was camping with our UALC family at Cedar Bay in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and one evening, long after sunset, I ventured out of our cabin and looked upwards, into the dark, clear night sky. It was stunning. I was certain I could feel myself slowly spinning with the earth as it rolled and orbited, and white bright stars were as vivid as I've ever seen them and I couldn't help but think about how small I am and how enormous God must be. It was humbling and exciting and beautiful.
In the very beginning, God created a garden and a man inside it. The man the Lord made was tasked with the project of caring for God's creation so that it would grow and flourish--the flora and the fauna. The Lord then made a woman, a companion and equal partner in this project. So, when the Israelites set out to describe what is wise according to the Lord, as they do in the book of Proverbs, they looked to the very beginning of creation; to the Garden as the Lord intended it.
What is wise and righteous? Caring for the needs of the animals, tending the fields, vineyards, and orchards that offer an abundance of food. What is wicked and foolish? The kindest acts of the wicked, those who chase senseless fantasies. The wisdom of Proverbs presupposes the magnificence of the Lord in his creation. This is why Wisdom beckons us to spend time doing the things we were first created to do, in and surrounded by the this marvelous world the Lord made. I am quite certain that doesn't mean that to be a Christian you must take a job as horticulturist or a zoologist, or that you must take up hiking or adopt a orphaned pet. And, no matter what the color of your thumb, the Lord loves you just the same. Though, it is not at all uncommon to hear of someone meeting with God, kneeled in the dirt of their garden as the dig, sew, plant, and till. Or, for someone to experience the heart and care of the Lord as they nurture, play with, or cuddle their animal friends.
Might I propose that there's a reason so many of the witnesses in the Bible about God relate him to his marvelous creations. There is, I believe, a meaningful theme of finding the nature of God in God's nature, and I think we are invited into an even deeper appreciation for God by falling even more deeply in love with his creation and creatures.
Today, I invite you to pray with me the songs from one of my favorite worship songs of late, So Will I.
If the stars were made to worship, so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I
If the wind goes where You send it, so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence, so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we'll sing again a hundred billion times.
Let it be so.