What is Humanity For?
What are we here for?
That’s an old question. There are those who say we have no purpose. We are here as worm food. I would say they lack imagination.
The author of the first chapter of the book of Genesis had a different idea. He lays out the construction of the Cosmos. God made a place; got that place organized; put life in it; then God made Man to rule the whole thing.
The first chapter flows into the second chapter, but we start getting another story at verse four of chapter 2. Some would say that it’s a completely different creation story not connected to the first, but others might note that the folks who edited the Bible together were very, very smart. They not only knew that there were two accounts but also wanted us to see them together in close proximity to each other. The account in the second chapter has details missing from that of chapter one, such as the creation of Adam and Eve, man and woman.
We also see God giving Adam a tour of the place. Adam gets introduced to all the animals and gets to name them. He is also given an order not to eat from a particular tree. That sets a boundary and makes us look back at what it might mean “to rule.”
Man is not to be a despot; Man is accountable to God. One might say “to rule” could be interpreted in modern parlance to be closer to meaning “to manage.”
Made to Rule
Man is in charge, but Man is accountable. In Okie terms, he is the ranch’s manager.
And just to be sure there isn’t any misunderstanding, “Man” here is being used to mean “the species homo sapiens sapiens.” (Yes, that double sapiens belongs there.)
We are here to take care of Life. The Way of Life is to be our purpose.
Adam was introduced by God to every animal, and Adam names them. This is still happening as the biologists delve into every nook and cranny of the planet and keep discovering new species and giving them names.
As of this writing, Life is still something of a mystery. There are some who have quite boldly said that Life is just complicated chemistry. To this I would reply two things: “You don’t know that” and “Just?”
The first reply is dangerous on my part. While on one hand, scientists have never created artificial life in the lab, they might’ve done that last night and it just hasn’t made the news yet. Some would call it a “God of the Gaps” argument. So yes, that reply could have a timestamp on it.
The second reply, though it is only one word, I’ll stand by. Life is wonderous. Life goes on around us. Bacteria can make other bacteria by splitting in two. A woman’s body can make a baby out of dill pickles and ice cream. Life is in every nook and cranny of this wonderful globe of ours and exists in places that are fearful to us.
“Just” complicated chemistry? Bah! It is wondrous chemistry.
We are managers of Life. We are to take care of Life. God has trusted other of His children to us and we are to take care of them.
It is not a Boon; it is a Responsibility.
In the current spectrum, there are those who would say we should delve into the world’s resources; get all we can; can all we can; sit on the lid; and poison the rest.
There are also those who say, homo sapiens sapiens is the problem, not the solution, and that we should work to eliminate ourselves in short order. They are out there and they’ve made more headway than you might think.
I don’t aim to change the minds of the folks at either of those extremes. While each would deny any connection with the others, both are followers of the Way of Death.
The Way of Life vs. the Way of Death
For the rest, let me suggest another Way: The Way of Life.
“Man,” the human race, homo sapiens sapiens, is still becoming what it will be. We are still waking up in our surroundings. We are still naming the animals and plants and every living thing. We are still figuring it all out.
Let us figure it out in a way that values the world around us, values beauty, values living things.
Thinking about the big picture of Life, the Universe, and Everything is really hard. The Universe goes out for at least 13 billion light years as far as we know.
That’s a bit too far for me.
I have to start at Me. To manage Life, I must first manage myself. I must be mindful of my actions as that becomes possible.
You can swirl into a black hole here if you aren’t careful. The fact is that some animals can’t eat without other animals dying. But, as you see in the account in Genesis, Man is given explicit permission to eat plants right there in chapter one. After the Flood, Noah is given permission to eat animals too. (There is a Biblical argument for vegetarianism sitting right there, but I am going to let it go. It is a hard teaching.)
Before I swirl into that black hole, I will simply leave you with a single question stated two ways: What does it mean to value Life? How do we pursue our purpose?Bobby Neal Winters
is a native of Harden City, Oklahoma and blogs at redneckmath.blogspot.com and okieinexile.blogspot.com. He invites you to "like" the National Association of Lawn Mowers on Facebook.• Get SALVO blog posts in your inbox! Copyright © 2023 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/post/our-purpose