God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”Genesis 1:27-28
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.Genesis 2:7-8
Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field…Genesis 2:19-20a
Adam woke up…for the very first time. He sat up and looked around in awe. The first first thing he was aware of was — God. He felt peace and love surrounding him. Although he was full of wonder, there was no fear at all. Then God spoke.
“Welcome, Adam. I’m glad to have you here.“
“Who are you? Where am I? WHAT am I?”
“I’m God. I created this place for you to tend and enjoy. You are a man, a human being, and I love you. Let me show you around.“
Adam stood up and stretched. Then he wondered how he had done that.
“I just thought about standing, and it happened. Then I felt kind of — I don’t know — stiff and un-used. I automatically made that stretching motion, and now I feel better. How did that happen?”
“I made your body to work that way. It can do all kinds of movement, and you control it by how you think. Try it out: See if you can bend over and touch your toes.“
“That’s easy. It has that same good stretch-y feeling.”
“Now let’s walk around through this garden.“
“Walking feels good, too. How do I go faster?”
“Just think of what you want, and then move. It’s called running. Why don’t you run over to that tree and back? I’ll wait here for you.“
“That was fun! You said that tall thing is called a tree?”
“Yes, it’s one of many kinds of plants I created for you.“
God walked in the garden with Adam, pointing out all the plants. From the tiny flowers hidden in the grass, to the roses, to the vegetables, to the little dogwood trees, the tall pines, and the majestic oaks…Adam was amazed at them all. There was so much variety, and each one so special.
“Why did you make so many kinds of plants?”
“Each has its own purpose. Some bring beauty; some are good for food; some provide homes for animals.“
“Animals? What are those?”
“Come and see.“
God beckoned, and several creatures moved toward them.
“How beautiful, and how unique! The little ones are so active and cute, with their fluffy tails. That bigger one is still very dainty and delicate. What are they called?”
“These are two kinds of creatures of the fields and woods. There are many more for you to meet. I’d like for you to give them their names.“
“Hmmm. I think the little ones could be called ‘squirrels’. That’s a funny word but it seems to match them. The dainty one with the big eyes, I think I’ll call ‘deer’.”
“Those are fine names. I hope you have many more. Look!“
God and Adam were surrounded by creatures coming to see them and be petted and named. There were more little ones like rabbits and turtles and foxes and dogs and cats. There were big ones like bears and horses and buffalo and giraffes and elephants.
“Look up, see the birds? They are my creatures of the air. I’ve made them to fly through the sky as their favorite way to move. But they build their homes in the trees, and will come down to meet you.“
Now Adam admired and named the chickadees and robins and hawks and eagles.
“Is that all the animals, creatures of fields and of air?”
“No, there are more. I’ve made creatures of the sea also. They live in water, from rivers to lakes to the big oceans that you can’t see from here. We’ll go visit all of them. Every part of this world I’ve made for you is full of life.“
“Everything you’ve made is so wonderful!”
“Yes, I do think it is very good. I’m glad you like it.“
God and Adam spent a long time visiting with all the animals. Adam gave them all names, and God taught him how to care for them. He realized that tending the garden was going to be a challenging task. But being with God was full of joy, and Adam looked forward to learning and growing and accomplishing God’s purpose.
The time seemed to fly by. But then Adam noticed something.
“The light around us looks different. Is it fading? Is something wrong?”
“No, nothing is wrong. The day is turning into night; the sun is going out of sight so that you can see the fainter light from the moon and stars.“
“Why are there different kinds of light?”
“I designed a pattern in nature to help you mark time. Day and night is a cycle that will repeat over and over again. There’s a bigger cycle also. Each year, the seasons will change. Each season will last for many days. Spring is like the beginning of the day when the plants and animals wake up. Summer is like the middle of the day, when everything is at its most active. Autumn is like now, a twilight as everything gets ready for rest. Finally, winter is like nighttime, when everything seems slower but really is just preparing and looking forward to the next year.“
“Those colors in the sky are especially beautiful! But they don’t last long; they are already fading. Will I get to see them again?”
“Yes, there will be more color when the cycle changes back from night to morning. Until then, you can use the night time to rest and be refreshed for another day. I’ll still be here.“
Adam yawned, lay down, and fell asleep. The last thing he was aware of was — God. He was still surrounded by peace and love, and still in awe of all of God’s creation. He was still full of wonder, and there was no fear.