Good King, Bad King (Psalm 8:6)

You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet. (Psalm 8:6)

I met Lou Milam this weekend. His name probably means nothing to you, but it resonated with me since Milam Road runs a quarter mile west of my property. Lou had grown up in the area and visited his uncle’s house, the foundation of which sits just across the line from my north boundary.

Perhaps it was Lou’s uncle who struggled to put up the fences that I occasionally encounter as I wander through my woods. At one time–not too terribly far in the past–my hillsides were nearly free of trees and provided the pastures for cattle. The knowledgeable eye can look at the size and species of trees that now tangle our slopes and guess when the animals last moved off the land. According to such eyes–not mine–it was 25 to 30 years ago.

Down the hill from where I spoke with Lou, I could have shown him a place we affectionately call George’s Folly. As our predecessors prepared to vacate the property three years ago, a certain fellow decided that it would be wise to discard a number of objects. He added them to an already established brush pile. The problem was that these objects included old computer monitors and other things not likely to biodegrade before the next ice age. Happily Lou’s uncle proved a better steward over the land than did George.

When God made man the rulers over the works of His hands, He did not say, “Go crazy and do whatever you want.” The Bible sets high standards for rulers and holds them accountable for failing to meet those standards. As a ruler over 60 acres of God’s creation, I too have responsibility. Happily, Lou seemed to approve of how I’ve cared for my slice of creation. The real question, however, is how God would approve.