I’d like to talk about one of the biggest questions of motherhood. With certainty, every boy will sometime come to his mother and utter these words.
“Mommy, when did God make the dinosaurs?”
And most mothers will trip over their tongues and drop the laundry cap in the washer, as they try unsuccessfully to dig deep in the “Sunday School Answer” well to draw out some semblance of a smart reply. Of course, I could answer this simple question. I’ve been in Sunday School since Noah got off the boat, and I am a former second-grade teacher. I even taught a unit on dinosaurs. But then I realized that my Sunday School knowledge just couldn’t dance with what I taught as a school teacher. The rhythms just wouldn’t match. One of the first facts I taught in the dinosaur unit was that humans and dinosaurs couldn’t co-exist. It just wasn’t possible – at least, that is what scientists tell us. But in Sunday School I learned that God created the earth in six days. Something just doesn’t match up.
After visiting the Fernbank Museum of Natural History last week, that crazy old question reared it’s curious head. Let’s get back to the basics and see if we can’t figure this thing out. Come have a look-see at creation.
Day 1: Light
Day 2: Sky and the Heavens
Day 3: Dry Ground, the Oceans, and Plant life
Day 4: Sun, Moon, and stars
Day 5: Water creatures and Birds
Day 6: Land Animals, Man, and Woman
My first thought was that perhaps each day of creation was not actually a typical 24-hour day. But when re-reading Genesis 1, I saw at the end of each thing God created were the words “and there was evening, and there was morning—the first day” and “there was evening, and there was morning – the second day” and so on. It appeared to describe a 24-hour day to me. So how could the ferocious foot-stomping meat-eaters walk the earth peaceably with Adam and Eve?
After some research, I found one Christian thinker who believed the dinosaurs did live peaceably with man. He hypothesized that all dinosaurs were vegetarians until sin came into the world. Hmmm….
So for all you mothers of inquisitive little people, I have a definite answer to the question “Did Jesus ride an Apatosaurus?”
The answer is “I don’t know.” I don’t know. Sorry. But, I don’t. And that, my friends is what I’m telling my children.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8 NIV
God is mighty and awesome and can do anything. So when I get to heaven, I will be sure to ask, “Lord, where do the dinosaurs fit in?” But until then I will find contentment in knowing that He knows and I don’t.
Any thoughts on the matter?