This week we read about Noah and the flood that destroyed the earth. It is a classic tale. It is a well-known story. This apocalyptic flood represents an age-old fear. After the waters recede God promises never again to destroy the earth because of humanity’s evil deeds.
The earth is entrusted to our care. We are commanded to be nature’s protectors.
Have we heeded the command? Have we taken to heart our sacred task?
Recently I watched an enthralling video about Yellowstone National Park.
The wolves’ reintroduction caused what scientists call a trophic cascade. Given that the wolves sit at the top of the park’s food chain their presence caused a ripple effect throughout the park’s ecosystem.
To cite but one example, the wolves killed the deer that ate the grass. And then the fields regenerated. (A positive Chad Gadyah moment?) The banks of the river stabilized. And the course of the river even began to change. The course of the rivers and lakes are ours to care for. The flood is within the reach of our responsibility.
A few days ago I watched the sun set over Huntington Harbor. I found a quiet spot overlooking the harbor’s lighthouse. I listened. It was low tide and I could hear the birds dropping clams on the rocks in order to crack open their shells. The crickets chirped loudly in anticipation of the approaching darkness. The waves gently lapped at the tall grass on the shore.
And I could hear God’s promise, renewed.
So long as the earth endures,The rhythm of the natural world follows its accustomed path. It can hinge on one small detail.
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
Day and night
Shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)
It rests in our hands.