The Wolverine (and the fierceness of God)

“If wolverines have a strategy, it’s this: Go hard, and high, and steep, and never back down, not even from the biggest grizzly, and least of all from a mountain. Climb everything: trees, cliffs, avalanche chutes, summits. Eat everybody: alive, dead, long-dead, moose, mouse, fox, frog, its still warm heart or frozen bones. Whatever wolverines do, they do undaunted. They live life as fiercely and relentlessly as it has ever been lived.” Douglas Chadwick, The Wolverine Way

“And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” Genesis 1:24

It seems there is no wilder, God-made animal than the Wolverine. This Sunday I’m going to preach on this fierce, fearless, powerful, and elusive animal. Why? Because I don’t know that I’ve ever really thought much about the fierceness of God; and how fearless he is. In his book, Engaging God’s World, Neal Plantinga speaks of the diversity of animals giving us a display of God’s inventiveness and love. He cites one verse from Job where the creature Leviathan speaks to God “with soft words” (Job 41:3). This makes me wonder what a Wolverine would whisper to God, and its unique nature might teach me about the inventive mind and nature of its Maker.

“God loves creation. God celebrates creation. God even plays with his creation. Responding in kind, an unspoiled creature turns to God with praise generated by being or acting ‘in character,’ by expressing its nature as God’s creature.” (Plantinga, p24)  Animals are made according to their ‘kinds’ and each has a unique calling before God. Calling? Yeah, I think so. When Genesis speaks of the creation of all of the creatures in the sea, it then goes on to say, “God blessed them [the sea creatures] and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” (vs 22). Apparently God has a kind of cultural mandate for the animals as well.

So this is my question then, “What does a Wolverine, obeying its creational calling, being fully itself and living according to its kind, teach us about who God is?”  What does this amazing animal uniquely reveal about the mind and heart of God?  Can you see any connections?

2 thoughts on “The Wolverine (and the fierceness of God)

  1. JVS Post author

    “They will soon be down
    To one, but he will still be
    For a little while still will be stopping
    The Flakes in the air with a look”
    James Dickey from For the Last Wolverine

  2. Gman

    Last Sunday while we were singing the song Indescribable I was thinking (yes I do think about things while I’m singing) about the word in the song “Untameable” and how that describes not only God but the wolverine as well. I think one of the biggest ways we disservice God is when we try to tame Him. We make Him less than He really is. God is wild. I think there is a line in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where Aslan is described not safe but good.

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