Kenneth Samuel: Dominion

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;  what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?   You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet." - Psalm 8:3-6 

I got my license to drive when I was seventeen. I couldn't wait to sit in the driver's seat, with no one in the car to nag me about speed limits and stop signs and yellow lights and passing pedestrians. I was interested in speed, and I thought that once I got my license, I would be in control. I considered driving to be a right, not a privilege. 

It goes without saying that an inordinate number of speeding tickets served to correct my thinking. But more importantly, I came to understand the awesome responsibility I assume whenever I sit behind the wheel of a 5,000 pound moving metallic machine on wheels. I've learned to be watchful and respectful of pedestrians, trees, traffic signals, children at play, animals in the road, weather conditions, speed limits, stop signs and a host of other things that tell me that I am only in control to the extent that I am cognizant and considerate of the broader context in which I am allowed to drive. 

Dominion over that which we do not value and respect turns into destruction. In the vast and wondrous realms of nature, God has placed humanity in the driver's seat. When will we learn how to drive? 


Dear God, Thank you for placing us in the realms of such natural splendor. Now, may our dominion be manifested in our self-control. Amen.

From UCC's Still Speaking Devotionals. Visit