“You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas” Psalm 8:6-8
The point of Psalm 8 is not simply to recover the beauty of who you are but to recover the glory of what you are called to do. You are not simply someone beautiful but also endowed with a weighty, important, purposeful and glorious calling to fulfill.
We are given dominion by God, as verse 6-8 tells us. That means we are called to take care of, to cultivate, to unpack and develop, and to enjoy this world that God has made as a home for his beautiful creatures. We are to steward this beautiful image and express it in all we do, make, compose, say, enjoy.
We are not called just to survive, to get by, to get through life, to do the next thing but to thrive as we exercise dominion – as we steward God’s creation, as we fulfill this glorious calling. In other words, we are to extend the Kingdom of God – something bigger and more precious and purposeful than settling for our selves, our wants, our comfort, our needs, our preferences, our safety, our pleasure.
C.S. Lewis says it so helpfully: “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased” (p. 1-2).
Don’t settle for less than this glorious purpose – use your classes at school and Greystone to understand, learn, to dream, and to prepare to build God’s Kingdom as far as the curse is found.
Sounds great! But how in the world do we recover the beauty and the glory?
Verse 4 reminds us of God’s care-filled and mindful watch over our lives.
When we still feel broken and lonely – lost/hidden under the rubble and ruins of sin’s vandalism and damage, we need to be reminded of the depth and extent and quality of God’s care and mindfulness.
You will never go through the process of recovery until you know just how true God’s care for you really is!
The most impressive, radical, costly, lovely act of paying attention and caring for us is the incarnation – Jesus leaving the comforts of heaven to become one of us. Jesus came in the flesh – he was God with skin on – to sympathize and identify with our brokenness. He subjected himself to death on the cross. He substituted himself for us – to be treated like a criminal though entirely innocent and blameless. He laid aside his majesty, beauty, his wholeness, his delight, his glory to take on our ugliness, loneliness, brokenness, guilt, shame, selfishness, purposelessness.
All to give us beauty and glory once again!