Kenneth L. Samuel
"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet." - From Psalm 8:3-6
From his/her minute spot on the globe, the Psalmist looks up into the vast wonders of the heavens above. Gazing upon the supernal brilliance of the glowing moon and the sparkling splendor of the radiant stars and the awesome beauty of the celestial canopy, the Psalmist recognizes his/her tiny place in the grand scheme of the universe.
The Psalmist is so intensely cognizant of his/her limited being within the natural universe, that the Psalmist wonders how is it that the Creator is not only mindful of humanity, but has actually given humanity dominion over the entirety of nature's fathomless reaches?
We often fail to appreciate that which God has given us dominion over.
I got my license to drive when I was seventeen. I couldn't wait to sit in the driver's seat, with no one in the car to nag me about speed limits and stop signs and yellow lights and passing pedestrians. I was interested in speed, and I thought that once I got my license, I would be in control. I considered driving to be a right, not a privilege.
It goes without saying that an inordinate amount of speeding tickets has served to correct my thinking. But more importantly, I came to understand the awesome responsibility I assume whenever I sit behind the wheel of a 5,000 pound moving metallic machine on wheels. I've learned to be watchful and respectful of pedestrians, trees, traffic signals, children at play, animals in the road, weather conditions, speed limits, stop signs and a host of other things that tell me that I am only in control to the extent that I am cognizant and considerate of the broader context in which I am allowed to drive.
Dominion over that which we do not value and respect turns into destruction. In the vast and wondrous realms of nature, God has placed humanity in the driver's seat. When will we learn how to drive?
Dear God, Thank you for placing us in the realms of such natural splendor. Now, may our dominion be manifested in our self-control. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.