Weeding                         March 2017

God blesses us in so many ways. Some are so subtle that without a pointer we would miss them. Plucking dandelions from their intrusions into my vegetable patch, I noticed something that only a human would recognize. An animal chewing it up would gain only the leaves leaving the root and “trunk” to grow yet another day. For the dandelion this would of course be painful but it would survive to fight back once more. When I, the dominant animal on the planet, the human, go just another half inch further toward the ground, I can pluck the entire plant, leaves, trunk, and roots in one motion.   Thus I end the life of one dandelion which grew in my garden that God wanted me to design for better uses.

I’ve often thought what a thrill it would be for someone from 1817 to come forward in time to this year. What would impress them the most? What would distress them?   Just the headlights from a pickup truck on a hill two hundred yards away, would startle them beyond belief.   What is that monster moving about casting the light of a thousand candles? Or would it be a cotton harvester that rolls along at an astonishing two and a half miles per hour, rolling up six rows of the crop into a giant burrito of fiber commerce? Our ability to use tools is a phenomenon.

God gave us compassion which most animals do not have and certainly no plants, either. That is why the herd of gazelles outruns the lion and leaves Poor Old Esther behind in the dust for the killer to pick off.   Most humans would at least raise a racket that might frighten off the lion.

He gave a spirit of charity. The appeal of those television commercials with the starving children touches virtually every heart.   The Bible, and most all other religious books, encourage taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves.   They also promote emotional charity with sayings like, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Every man feels better about himself when he earns his daily bread. Keeping a man from despising his need for charity is often more important to him than eating.

Strategy was a gift, though often misused, and coming from above in our DNA it is much a part of daily life. The bear doesn’t think about fertilizing the berry bush, he just goes in and eats. The human considers the rain, the sun, the nutrients, and the protection of the seeds he puts into the ground.

Additionally, He gave us patience. We would starve if we expected the seed corn to sprout, blossom, become fruitful and ripen in a day.   Patient strategy is uncommon in the world of animals.

So if anyone says or infers, “We are just like the other beasts on the earth,” try not to laugh at them. Though that too is a gift unique to us.

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