We have an amazing ability to think that everything revolves around us, as individuals and as a species. Before the Copernican Revolution we were absolutely certain the entire cosmos revolved around us. Some of us have been known to wail, “Why me!” when rain interrupts our ball game or picnic. You might know someone who thinks that everyone else’s plans ought to revolve around them.
One of the objections people often raise about an “old earth” view of creation is that there was a very long period of time between when the world was created and when modern humans appeared. People wonder why it took so long. People wonder why God waited so long. Underlying those sorts of statements is the idea that if we humans weren’t around, nothing of important could have been happening. Aren’t we the reason the earth and universe exist? Aren’t we the point, the goal? Surely we’re what God wanted to achieve when God began to create. All that “empty” time, before we appeared doesn’t make any sense. Why would God waste all those millennia?
But what if God created the earth, the universe (and us) just because it gave God pleasure to do so? What if the creation itself glorifies God? What if God delights in everything God has created? Humans yes, but also deer and ants and ichthyosaurs and gar and everything else. There are “clues” in the Bible that this is so. See Psalm 96:1,11-12; Psalm 19:1-4; Genesis 9:8-10; Isaiah 42:10-12; Isaiah 43:19-21; among many others.
Now one could argue that God likes us best. Perhaps we’ll have that discussion another time. What is important to remember is that God’s choosing of one is not God’s rejection of the others. (God’s Choosing) God’s delight and love for other creatures does not diminish God’s delight and love for us. God’s love for us does not lessen God’s love for the rest of creation.
If we can adjust our worldview, just a bit, and let the rest of creation be loved by God then the long time spans of evolution become less of a problem. Creation isn’t about us. Creation is about God. The imaginative God who creates in complex and surprising ways. The Creator who loves every creature, including parasites and evolutionary “dead ends”. It’s not about us, it’s better than that. Much, much better than that. All of creation reveals God’s glory and glorifies God. Creation is worship writ across the cosmos.
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