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RELIGION: Ask some of the questions you probably can’t answer

by By Robert Box A Chaplain’s Perspective | September 6, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

The other evening I was sitting on our back porch when I noticed two hummingbirds chasing each other around the feeder and yard. It's amazing how a hummingbird can zoom around so fast and then stop in midair on a dime.

Yes, like you, I've read up on exactly how they do that, but it doesn't take away the actual awe involved when it happens right in front of you. It made me stop and appreciate nature and the great diversity of God's creation more.

How about you? Did you miss the part in the creation story where God created all of the things in the air, on earth and under the earth (e.g. sea)? Now, why did He create a hummingbird? Or, for that matter, why did God create so many different kind of birds, animals and sea creatures? Did you know that the great Tyrannosaurus Rex may have had a bird lineage?

I guess it is kind of like the vast variety of humans on earth. Not only color, we have so many different body shapes, appearances, intelligence levels, abilities, and so on (oh, did I mention headaches?). Maybe it's like Paul Young had Jesus say in his book "The Shack," that he "really enjoyed that part of creation."

I have read or heard a lot of theories about why humans are "black and white, red and yellow, and brown" but honestly they don't make a lot of sense to me. Consider the American Indian. Now, why should an American Indian have a reddish color? No one else living the same area is reddish. Or, consider black people. Does living in Africa make a person dark skinned?

Or, the Chinese? How does living in China make a person yellow? And just where did the so-called "white" people (actually not white but various degrees of pale) come from? Have you ever noticed how sun bathers work really hard to become brown like some Hispanics only to fail? It just doesn't work that way.

Isn't God's creation grand? Since I don't know the answers to the above questions, how about some real fall nature stories? Did you ever wonder why God created the opossum with so many teeth, almost like a little alligator? Maybe it was so they could eat another little animal like our little dachshund.

I remember how our little dog went almost crazy over something in our backyard one evening, and when I checked I discovered a very large opossum lying at the edge of the yard hardly moving. Fortunately, I had had previous experience with opossums and knew it was only faking being dead. I left it and returned in the morning to find it gone, but I cringe to think what it would have done to our little dog had it gotten too close.

Or, consider those pesky armadillos. I distinctly remember awakening one morning only to discover that an armadillo had decided to plow my backyard in one night just to get a few grubs. If it had only asked, I would have given it a whole bag of grubs, but no, it had to dig for them. I had at least seven armadillos that fall, and no yard.

A better moment occurred when a whitetail deer doe came up into our backyard, and decided to have her little fawn right there so I could photograph it. Now, that was a great moment, although I'm still not sure why God created so many different kinds of deer. Why not just one kind?

On the other hand, consider snakes. Now, I'm lucky not to be afraid of snakes, but that doesn't mean I have no interaction with them. I once hit a golf ball too far on a par three only to discover that it had landed near a rat snake. That pesky snake coiled around my ball and wouldn't let me have it. Of course, I objected, but when I did, it started to chase me.

Yep, you guessed it; there's no way a snake can match my speed. But why so many different kinds of snakes? My wife, and I'm sure a lot of other people, would argue that one was enough. Oh, by the way, Satan may have acted like a snake, but he was never a snake in the Garden of Eden.

Let me close with this interesting story: I'm not sure why we have so many different kinds of foxes, but they are smart. A beautiful red fox spied our little dog one evening and attempted to sneak up on it, probably dreaming of a nice evening meal. I scared it away, but it sneaked around in the woods and came back from a different direction. That fox appeared every day for the next four days trying to get our small dog until I threatened it with bodily harm in my mind. It never appeared after that.

Take a little time out this fall to enjoy what God has created, and don't be afraid to ask some of the questions you probably can't answer.

Robert Box has been a law enforcement chaplain for 30 years. He is a diplomate-level chaplain with the International Conference of Police Chaplains and is an endorsed chaplain with the American Baptist Churches USA. He also currently serves as a deputy sheriff chaplain for the Benton County Sheriff's Office. Opinions expressed are those of the author and not the agencies he serves.

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