Destiny In Our Design Part 1 | A Brown Carpet
Being Part of a Brown Carpet
Can I say something?
I’m so glad I’m a human being. I wouldn’t want to be a cat. Too many hairballs. And I wouldn’t want to be a squid. I mean, who wants to end up as calamari? And I wouldn’t want to be a worm either. There’s not that much fun in pushing dirt around and popping out onto the sidewalk every time it rains.
From the first spark of life in the womb, we are intended for significance.
If I believed in reincarnation, I would definitely do my best to get to a higher plane. Speaking of coming back as a lower life form, what’s up with cicadas? If you go looking for one, there are none to be found. But then, WHAM! every 17 years, there is a veritable FLOOD of the little brown suckers. Awhile ago, I was watching a Planet Earth episode which featured a piece on them. Let me just say, I was horrified, revolted and fascinated all at the same time. I had no idea. They just hide in the dirt, counting the rise and fall of plant sap. Then one day, when they’ve counted to 6,205, every cicada says “Ready or Not Here I Come!” And suddenly they pop out of the earth. Thousands. Millions of them. A brown, crawling mass that sweeps over the ground and creeps up trees. Just like a bad 1970’s shag carpet. There are so many that over-indulgent predators can only watch, bloated, immobilized and glassy-eyed as potential prey wanders by. And it’s SO loud. All those noisy, winged bodies that are crawling, climbing, popping out of their skin and inserting eggs into trees.
Then, it’s all over. The adults die. The nymphs drop down to the ground ready to play 17-year hide-and-seek all over again. It's weird, scary, riveting.
I thought about what it would be like to be a cicada. Then I realized that for some of us, being a cicada wouldn’t be that different from how we live now. We are born, eat, poop, have sex, make a lot of meaningless noises, change clothes and shoes a few times. Then we die. It’s as if our destiny is to do what everyone else has done before us. Feed our appetites, reproduce and fertilize the ground. Not very meaningful stuff. Or satisfactory. I mean, what’s it all for? Is this all we are, and all we are to do?
Born to Rock and Rule
Of course, you know the answer to that question. And I don’t need to tell you more. But the thing that strikes me is that human beings are born for impressive ventures. For courage and brilliance and accomplishment. From the first spark of life in the womb, we are intended for significance. We are born great, no matter our circumstances. But we are also born to accomplish great things. It’s in our DNA. Think about it.
We dream of making a difference, of changing the face of the planet.
In the beginning… God not only created us “in his image,” but he gave us purpose: to “rule”. Another way of saying this is that we are to steward the planet. We are to shape, order, limit, and bring to fullness the whole world. This is a monumental, eternity-shaping, divine purpose that is written into us. And it IS written into us.
Spoken into us. Stamped, engraved into our very being.
We can pick it up, ignore it or refuse it. But in our wildest moments we dream about being conquerors and rescuers and world changers. We dream of making a difference, of changing the face of the planet. This is our potential, a possibility that shakes the heavens and makes angelic powers take notice. Listen again to the sound of God’s voice. The voice that vibrates in the bones of the archetypical man and woman. The voice that also resonates within our hearts…
“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1: 28 NASB).
We are to rule and subdue the whole planet.
It’s All About Sex
Sounds awesome doesn’t it? And a little intimidating. To say nothing of being unrealistic. What? Me? Rule the world? I can barely keep the grass cut in my backyard. Last year, I brutally chopped limbs off my wildly growing apple tree. I figured that they would make great firewood. Then, BAM! This year the tree produced a veritable cloud of apples. And we all know what comes from clouds: rain. It got quite dangerous to picnic underneath that tree. Dropping apples would intermittently make a thunderous “BANG!” upon our outside table.
And then there was the sandbox.
My wife decided to fill it up with real earth and plant a garden. Everything died. Except for the tomato plants. They shot up to eye level, like some alien forest of trees on Mars. I spent the summer tying their spindly stalks to stakes and watering their wimpy roots. It was… very busy. I can hardly handle my own yard, so how am I going to rule the world?
That’s why God says to be “fruitful and multiply.” Have lots of sex. Have lots of babies. Give them a piece of the pie. Because a whole world, needs a race of people, a whole planet of people to make it fully into what it’s supposed to be. I can handle my backyard, if you will handle yours. I can rule my piece of the world, if you rule yours. Together we can make it amazing.
But back to the sex part.
“Be fruitful and multiply!” How seriously are we to take this? Should we be saying to our spouse, “Three months rest dear, then it’s time to start on another bun in the oven”? Should we just be shooting out babies all over the place? Since there are 7 billion people on the planet, maybe the “fill the earth” part is done. Some might argue with my reasoning, but perhaps we don’t need more people in order to make the world flourish. Maybe we just need more of the existing people to act out the wishes of the Creator. And we do that by reproducing ourselves. Not just physically, but spiritually, training people to do what we do, imparting our wisdom, values, skills, etc…
Now, I have to clean up the cicadas.
This is a two-part series on 'Destiny In Our Design'. For Part 2 click here.
In the mean time, what do you think? Are you happy to live life as a cicada? Or are you more in a more unique life - acting out the wishes of the creator? What does that look like for you? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.