The seed of faith can quickly take root in the heart of a child, because the heart of a child is not overgrown with thorns and weeds. Yet as the faith grows, it needs to be tended and pruned.
I once told a little girl “God made everything.” After thinking about this for a little while, the seed began to sprout, and she asked me, “Did God make cars?”
“No,” I said, “People made cars, but God made the metal and the glass that cars are made out of.”
Among all the creatures that God made, there was one that was different from the others, because this creature was more like God than the others. Genesis says that man is created “in the image and likeness of God.” We are the animal that is like god.
A sign of our god-like-ness is we are able to create. It is true that many animals make things: birds make nests, spiders make webs, bees make honeycombs, beavers make dams, but this is never an act of creation. The spiders don’t discuss the best way to span between blades of grass or which webs are most effective for catching crickets as opposed to flies, they just act on instinct. Beavers don’t cut trees to look like their ancestors, the just make dams.
It is man who has the power to reflect on his world, at to change it to suit his fancy, whether that is to make something that looks like him, or draw a buffalo on a cave wall, or build a vehicle to carry himself from one place to another. We can make the world reflect ourselves, and we can change the world to suit our needs.
Except that we can’t totally change the world, only little parts of it. This creates a huge tension between ourselves and God, because we are constantly going to God with complaints: What you made is not right! What you made is broken! It doesn’t do what we want! Genesis says that God put man in the garden to till it and to keep it. In other words, God didn’t finish everything, He left space for us to work, to irrigate the fields, to develop varieties of grain, and so on.
Yet here is the huge challenge: how do we know what needs to be fixed? Not everything that seems wrong to us really is wrong, which means that changing something to make it “better” might ruin it. Here is the terrifying thing about the modern world: we have so much power to change not only the world but human society, reinventing everything from childhood to family relationships to death and taxes, that all this power threatens to destroy us unless we can tell the difference between what needs to be changed and what doesn’t.
In other words, the fact that we are given a power to create does not give us the freedom to create whatever we want, but it gives is the enormous responsibility to use this power to build up what is good and not to destroy it. The power God has given us is the exact reason why we need morality. +
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