“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’”
The above verse of Scripture is from Genesis 1:26. I placed special emphasis on “let them rule” for a reason. I have a really hard time with this directive from God. I’m a city girl, born and raised in an area where squirrels and pigeons rule the universe, with an occasional raccoon or skunk making an appearance. In all honesty, I’m scared of most animals including cats. In recent months I’ve moved from dog-liker to dog-lover (thanks to Snowy, Harley, and Widget) but that is as far as I go. I’ve had to navigate my way around squirrels all of my life, so they don’t scare me as much as they annoy me. That was until Hudson Park....
On a beautiful Wednesday in August, my best friend and I went to Hudson Park in New Rochelle to sit by the water and calm our weary souls before heading to Bible study. We were relaxing until a kamikaze squirrel had the audacity to roll up on us as we laid out in the grass. I won’t type the whole story, but after two run-ins with this squirrel, we gracefully (really, it was clumsily) grabbed our blanket, got in the car, and left before the squirrel inflicted any harm on us. I know, you think I’m crazy, but the squirrel got within 3 feet of us on our blanket, chased around, didn’t run when we threw full Poland Springs bottles at him (why couldn’t it be a she?), and went into a Jackie Chan type position as if he had a debt to settle. I haven’t looked at squirrels the same since.
This blog isn’t about squirrels. I refused to let one squirrel change the way I interact with the rest of his species. However, on Monday I encountered an animal that really made me call into question the whole dominion thing. To get to class (or anywhere on campus), I can either drive, or I can walk through a path in the forest behind my building. I usually walk....only driving when I know I’m going to be on campus after dark. The forest is full of critters (squirrels [that run from me], chipmunks, and rabbits), as it should be.
Back to Monday. I worked on campus, went to the gym, and was heading back home to do homework. As I walked through the forest, minding my own business, I saw a deer. It was big. Not sure if it was bigger or smaller than most, but I knew that it was certainly bigger than me. I stopped. He stopped. We stared at each other and I turned back toward campus. I proceeded to call my mother who didn’t know anything about deer (as if I assumed that even though we lived around the corner from one another that her block had deer and mine didn’t). I then called one of my cohorts from RCDS who I know has deer in her backyard, but she wasn’t available. When I couldn’t get her, I called another RCDS friend. She comforted me, encouraged me to walk through the forest, laughed at me, and talked to me as I made my way home. When I walked through the forest again, the deer was still there but it had crossed the path and was on the other side. It stopped, stared at me and let me walk. I was grateful to have made it over.
It sounds silly, but I haven’t walked through the forest since. I miss my daily exercise, but I’d hate to have a not so pleasant run-in with a deer. If a squirrel in New Rochelle had the cojones to approach me being 1/64th of my size, what could a deer that is bigger and probably do? What happens if a whole deer family comes out and perceives me as a threat? Does the deer know the Scripture? If I was sure that they knew about the whole dominion thing, I’d probably walk without fear, but since I’ve never seen the New Deer Translation of the Bible, I’ll pass...rather, I’ll drive.
So God, if we are truly given dominion, please give me the courage to walk through the forest to get to campus. Until I hear from You, I’m gonna drive....
image taken from http://mahschocolate.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/bambi.jpg