And God said,
"Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind;
cattle and creeping things
and wild animals of the earth of every kind!" And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind,
and the cattle of every kind,
and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. (NRSV)
In the space of a couple of sentences, the writer uses the phrase "every kind of..." five times. Obviously, though he would not have known it, the writer knew all about bio-diversity - the sheer variety of life on earth. He understood that God could have made things simple - why have thousands of different species of beetle, for example? But the writer sensed that the sheer abundance of species - and varieties within species - spoke of a Creator who did nothing by halves. We know that most have evolved to live in certain habitats - and that, when that habitat is destroyed, the species become threatened - and may even become extinct. Extinctions have taken place throughout the history of the earth - we dont have many dinosaurs around these days - and the old species have given way to new ones. Where this happens naturally, we can accept it as part of the way our earth sustains itself and the life on it.
The problem arises when it is due to human beings over-exploiting the resources entrusted to them. Perhaps a first step is to reawaken a sense of wonder at the variety of life on earth - and from that rediscover a respect for the creatures who share the earth with us. Drinking from the Wellspring Go to a wildlife sanctuary -
and see how how human beings are helping to overcome the problems facing some species. Even simpler, go into the garden or for a walk
and spend time watching the creatures you find there.
How many of us can resist holding a ladybird on a finger?
(though the same probably could not be said about slugs!) Allow yourself to express a prayer of thanks and praise for the wonder of Life on Earth. © 1998 Wellspring