Mankind needs to change its view of the place we live and allow its design to be revelatory.
In a recent podcast episode of Permaculture Tonight hosted by Matt Powers, Geoff Lawton, famous permaculture designer, advocate and teacher, was talking about the plasticity of the human brain and our ability to continue to learn and relearn even into old age. He reported that this idea led him to feel more responsibility for the people he teaches because of the reality that what he says has a dramatic impact on those who hear him.
As his thought progressed, he came to the conclusion that permaculture practitioners, as a result of their training and experience, can have a new perspective on the world around them. Lawton said, “We actually see the world with a design mind.”
If this is the case, the value to the believer is significant because seeing creation with a design mind reveals more about God and His provision for us. When we carefully examine creation, we see there is a holistic and integrated design that is regenerative. Why would God create a universe, a solar system, a planet designed exactly as He did? That question has troubled minds for centuries. However, there is a simple answer.
If we accept that God is perfect, then His actions are perfect by definition. If God’s actions are perfect, His creative acts were perfect. Seven times in the creation account in Genesis, God considers His creation good. There is no difficulty in the translation either, for the Hebrew word “tobe” used here is very basic and simply means good.
Lawton said that permaculture designers can see the world around them “through a new matrix.” Similar to the notion Lawton explained, is that Christians must see the world as God designed it, through His matrix, so to speak. And having knowledge of what we observe with that lens, should impact us in such a way that we behave differently. We should especially behave differently when it comes to God’s designed Earth.
In J. Timothy Unruh’s “The Greater Light to Rule the Day – Ladies and Gentlemen – The Sun!” he wrote that the Earth and the Sun are so unique from any of the other planets and stars we have information about, that it begs the question why these unique qualities are precisely needed for human existence.
There has been much talk among evolutionary philosophers about the Earth being just another planet revolving around just another average star. Yet when the evidence to the contrary is considered, it is clear that neither the Earth nor the Sun are insignificant or typical, and that the Sun is not just another “star” after all, but actually quite unique in the universe and that it ought not be classified as a star. When the Sun is compared to the stars, it truly stands out in its unique suitability as the light- and heat-giver for the Earth as an abode of life. It is a known fact that most stars produce visible light in only small proportions and are most intense in their output of lethal radiations like X-rays and gamma rays. The Sun is unusual in the life-supporting spectrum of energy that it does provide. Another aspect of the Sun’s uniqueness is its singularity. Over two-thirds of the stars are members of star systems containing two or more stars. If the Sun were a member of such a system, continually perturbed by the gravitational interplay of the neighboring stars, life on Earth would be precarious at best, given the drastic variations of tides, light, and heat it would experience. The Sun is unique in yet another way. Compared to most stars, its light and heat is steadfast, constant, and abiding. Many more of the stars are considerably variable in their output of light and heat. Most stars fluctuate greatly in the process of time, with output factors that range from 10 percent to 150,000 percent. Life on Earth could not endure such wild extremes of radiation. Furthermore, the vast majority of stars are smaller, cooler, dimmer, and less massive than the Sun. In addition to the Sun’s unique intrinsic suitability to be the Earth’s light- and heat-giver, the Earth itself is placed at the optimal distance from such an unusual “star” as our Sun. When seen in the broader context of the cosmos, the Sun can be clearly seen as a grand product of design, with a very special purpose, by an almighty and benevolent Creator who has revealed Himself and declared in His great foundational revelation.
If we take on the Designer’s mind, we can see the intricate interplay of many of the Divinely designed systems in creation. For those of us who grow things, this is most germane when we consider the soil. Do we see soil from God’s perspective? Can we see it like God does? We are finite, so we can’t see it fully as He does. But, we can make observations of the design that are valuable to us.
An amazing example is the soil food web. If we carefully examine the soil food web, we see it as an integral part of how plants exist on this planet. If we’re growing plants, we better understand the soil food web and understand how to enhance and leverage this knowledge to gain a surplus harvest while also building healthy soil.
Many examples can be pointed out where sharing in the Designer’s mind will enhance what we do on our farms and homesteads. Flows of energy expressed in wind, water, and waste are just a few more examples where we need to make careful observations and seek to see the design and interplay of them all as God did when He designed them.
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