Each according to its kind

Those of us who came from China know Asian carp (鯉魚) as a delicacy. They were introduced to the US in the 1970s as mosquito control. But some escaped and became an invasive species. The Asian carp has now invaded the Mississippi river and many of the lakes. A number of native fresh water species are driven toward extinction.

(Here is an animal channel video: http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/weird-true-and-freaky/videos/asian-carp-invasion.htm)

Read through Genesis 1 and the phrase “each according to its kind” appears many times. The most distinct act of God’s creation is the drawing of boundaries. God drew the boundaries between day and night, between the sky and the sea, between the sea and dry land, and among species of plants and animals.

Israel needed to be separated. She needed to separate herself from Egypt, and from the Canaanite tribes. Otherwise this nation will never be free and be able to fulfill God’s plan.

In our workplace, we also need to set and respect boundaries. We have seen how the violation of boundaries has ruined our financial systems in 2008. When different areas of financial services (credit, insurance, banking, investment banking, bond rating) ceased to be “each according to its kind”, the result was a confusing monstrous system which boomed fast and collapsed even faster.

On a personal level, the most violated boundary is the boundary between our work life and our personal/family life. We all began to take our work home. No job is 9 to 5 anymore. We carry our blackberries/iPhone/Androids everywhere, bedroom included.

Respect of boundaries is an integral part of creativity – turn off your smart phone.

Abundance

The key to understanding Genesis 1 is to put it in its context – Genesis 1 is the rally cry for Israelite leaving Egypt to enter the Promised Land.

When we read through Genesis 1, it is easy to pick out that when God created the heavens and the earth, he did it with ABUNDANCE.

  • “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”
  • “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”
  • “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds”
  • “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

God’s creation is ALIVE. Healthy living beings are naturally productive. The land will produce, the sea will produce, plants will produce, animals will produce, human will produce.

There are two ways to make our workplace productive: organically or artificially.

We can make our workplace productive by enslaving people – “work hard or you will lose your job”; or we can enslave people by enticing them with high pay. To be artificially productive, we drive people by money (or lack thereof).

To be organically productive, we rely on God’s gifts. We let our workers grow. We let our workers share in our vision. We are motivated by believing that our products and services will make the world a better place. To be organically productive is to drive people by love – God’s love for us and our love for our neighbors.

The Promise Land is “flowing with milk and honey”, not an enslaving sweat shop.