Which Came First? (Psalm 8:1)

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

We’re ready to move our baby chicks outside. Their growth in the past two and a half weeks has made them quite crowded in their little storage-tub brooders. The odor of their presence–that’s a polite way to say it, isn’t it?–has become quite profound. It’s time for them to vacate the garage and take up residence in the great outdoors.

If only I could take those tubs out into the yard, open up the lids, and dump the gals out onto the grass. But it’s just not that easy. I’ve had to ensure that predators couldn’t get to the birds. I’ve had to safeguard them from drafts and moisture. The top hatch on their chicken tractor had to be reattached. Heat lamps needed to be positioned inside the enclosure and electricity provided.

Life, it seems, is complicated. I mention this as I think of  God’s glory not only placed in the heavens but spread throughout all of creation. For all the complexity of dealing with chickens or maintaining a modern household, the jillions of details that go into the physics, the chemistry, and the biology of life make my efforts seem like a game of tic-tac-toe.

My chickens will not appreciate the fine engineering that I incorporate into their outside domicile. They’ll be oblivious to the economics of eggs versus feed that determines their continued viability. They won’t understand the many systems and resources necessary to bring them water, shelter, and food, nor the profound social skills I’m required to deploy in order to sell their eggs.

That’s how it is us, when we ignore the glory of God as displayed throughout the world, when we think that by understanding an essential process such as photosynthesis or gravity, we can take some sort of credit for it. In reality, just as I can take no credit for the miracle of a chicken laying eggs, we can take no credit for the glory of God in which we live. That is, perhaps, the first and most important spiritual insight that we can possess.

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