This post is written by contributing writer, Kimberly from The Corner of Birch and Divine.
At first arrival, it was exactly the paradise I expected it to be. The sand was soft, the ocean was vast, the palm trees were plentiful, the sun was hot, and the breeze was refreshing. The smell of Island hung in the air, and I took a deep, grateful breath of it. Our tropical vacation had finally arrived.
In May, my husband and I spent some time with my family in Sint Maarten. After a hectic week of closing up projects at work, preparing and packing for a week-long vacation, and trying to make our apartment look somewhat clean for our return home, I was longing for pristine ocean views and the relaxing sound of crashing waves. I was not disappointed. The balcony of our shared room overlooked the sea, and I could almost pick the coconuts from the palm trees. Upon first sight of it, I made a date with myself to sit on that balcony and drink my coffee each morning.
Upon waking the next day, I faithfully grabbed my mug and curled up in a chair on the balcony. I marveled at the creation laid out before me, and praised God’s design. As I was contemplating whether or not the Lord’s intention in creating white sand and turquoise water was specifically to gift His children with a sense of relaxation, a soft roaring sound wedged its way through my reverie. I looked out on the horizon, and caught the silver glint of an airplane. It grew closer and closer, and I finally recalled that our hotel room was a mere hundred feet from the island’s only public airport. The roar grew louder, nearly deafening, and my jaw hung agape as the plane executed a smooth landing mere yards from sunbathers on the beach.
After I gathered up my lost wits that had scattered across the balcony, I was puzzled to realize that I didn’t find the plane to be a disturbance. It was bizarre, to be sure, but I actually found the whole experience to have a beauty to it. Although a steely, glinting plane is a stark contrast to soft sand and green palm fronds, I found the contrast to be fascinating, and not at all ugly.
This revelation quickly lent itself to an internal debate. Earlier, when admiring God’s creation, my thoughts were bent toward nature – the rustling of the palms in the wind, the sea that met the horizon, the bright and warm sun. How does cold, modern technology belong in a tropical paradise? Why did I find the contrast of nature and science to be so beautiful? Where does God fit into all of this?
I turned to my Bible. The book of Genesis tells the story of creation, of God breathing life into the sky, the earth, animals, and humans. Of course, there is no mention of technology. However, God did create humans in His likeness. And when He did, He put them in charge of everything He created.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:26 ESV
I considered that perhaps when God gave care of the earth and His creatures to us, He intended us to evolve. To be created and then create ourselves, by learning to make use of the tools we are given. Thanks to God’s desire to model us after Himself, we have intelligent minds that enable us to dream up methods of feeding ourselves, sheltering our families, and even transporting hundreds of people around the world. The Lord gave us amazing gifts… shouldn’t we use them?
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:6-8 ESV
I came to the conclusion that it is not necessarily wrong for us to use our gifts to build airplanes and skyscrapers and fly into outer space. It’s about using our gifts with the right intentions. If we use our gift with chemistry to seek a cure for cancer, it’s beautiful. If we use our gift with engineering to create shelter for families, it’s beautiful. If we use our gift with aerodynamics to fly people to a place that reminds them of God’s power and glory, the contrast between technology and nature can be beautiful.
Some people might argue that nature should be left pristine and untouched, the way God originally created it. Others might argue for a balance of nature and technology. Where do you stand? Do you think God and technology can exist together?
This post is shared at Simple Lives Thursday