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Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Man/Nature Link

I read an interesting blog about letting men be men and boys be boys and that triggered me to do some additional thinking on the subject that I thought I would share.  Specifically why do many men naturally have an urge to be "at one" with nature, hunt, fish, and hike?  Even men who play games such as World of Warcraft end up virtually hunting, fishing and hiking.  It seems to be hard wired right into us, but why?

Well, I think to answer that question we have to go all the way back to the beginning.  Now, the way some of you believe, going back to the beginning means that you were once a slimy critter making its way out of some tar pit, but for me, being one of those pesky Christians,  I am going back to Genesis.  Specifically let's go back to Genesis 2.

Genesis 2:8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
So now we have man put right there in the middle of a bunch of trees, which of course grew fruit and nuts on them to eat.  So now God has solved man's first crisis, which is how to keep his belly full. You know what?  Man has wanted to keep that belly full every since.  Men love to eat!

Genesis 2:10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[d] and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.[e] 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
OK, you tell me.  What is the next thing men like?  Water sports such as kayaking, fishing (not in vogue yet),  and swimming come to mind.  A river running right through eden and splitting off into four other rivers provided quite a bit of entertainment.  Specifically God solved several problems:  eating, drinking and recreation.  Hey maybe Adam even got into a little gold crafting so he could give Eve a nice ring.

Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Wow, no wonder so many men like growing gardens and farming in the great outdoors.  This was the primary way man grew the food he needed and gave himself purpose for thousands of years.  Only now do we see this once great occupation dwindling away in the face of technology.

Genesis 2:19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature,that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
Well this one is a no brainer!  We are still naming animals to this day.  In fact, there are whole occupations devoted to naming and observing animals.  Did you ever hear of a biologist or ornithologist?  We even give the animals fancy latin names because we just can't stop with the common name.  I'd say naming critters was hard wired into man right from the beginning. Hunting, although not part of the pre-sin garden is really just a means to attain food and observe nature.  How many men hunt, are into bird watching or like the idea of roaming through the woods in search of critters they have never seen?

Can you imagine a powerful bengal tiger or the massive grizzly bear walking up to Adam and looking at him as if he was saying "ok boss, name me." Maybe after he named the tiger, it gave him a little nuzzle and wandered off into the garden. How cool would that have been?

Eventually woman was created by God and she was made to complete the man.  She did a really good job of it until she and Adam sinned.  Now thousands of years later, man still wants to name his animals and tend to the garden, but the woman wants the man to hang out with her.  So you see that is why man does what he does. He is being called back to the relationship with God and his duty to name animals and grow things.

Now some of this is a little tongue in cheek, but honestly these are the roots of the man.  It is still here within us today. Perhaps not as pure as it was then, but it is still there calling to us.  Our modern world full of cube farms, social media and cell phones leave little room to accommodate the ancient call of the wild, but we can still get out there and discover what God made for us all those years ago.  Yes it is a fallen world so don't expect some tiger to come wandering up to you for naming, but we can still observe and enjoy and I highly recommend doing it.

No, I am not saying dump your job and I am not against cell phones.  I have one and love it, but do yourself a favor and know when to put the machine aside and just take in His magical creation.  I have a slogan in my photography: Creation is Art.  If you want to experience real art made from the ultimate artist then step into the forest and let God's art renew your energy and purpose.  Just make sure you put some bug spray on because some of his art bites.





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