Why do we pray? Because God asks us to, and we love Him. (Also, if we’re really honest with ourselves, to feel a bit better about our day, be more grounded and cover all our bases. But the first answer is the correct one!)
Why do we shower? Because we’d stink if we didn’t, and even if we didn’t mind, we like to avoid offending people around us. (Plus, it’s a time to ourselves – sometimes! – in a day full of kids/bosses/spouses/etc.)
Why do we care about the environment? All of the above.
(1) Because we MUST. As a Christian I am compelled by the grace of God within me to do as the medicinal Hippocratic oath states: “Do no harm.” I firmly believe that this applies equally to humans and humanity, whose welfare depends on the sustainability of the planet we inhabit.
(2) Because God tells us to in Genesis 1:28. “Fill the earth and subdue it.” Subdue doesn’t mean “destroy” but to be in control of, or even to cultivate.
(3) Because we don’t want to offend others, or worse yet, be the cause of their getting cancer or struggling with infertility.
(4) Because we love God and we love our children and we desire nothing more than to leave them a legacy in this world. There’s no better way to start leaving a legacy than by making sure that the Earth is a beautiful, awe-inspiring, livable place as God intended it to be. No better way to ensure that legacy than by reducing the negative impact your life has on the planet.
Caring for the Environment Can’t Just be for Earth Day Once a Year
National Parks often are peppered with quaint signs: “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.” We must take that wisdom and make it our mantra.
In this world, God calls us to preserve and protect. He gives us field and flower, animal, vegetable, and mineral to use for our benefit….but always with the qualification that we do not harm others through our living. Always with the reminder that we are living in community, and that one person’s action impacts the world around him in ways too vast for us to comprehend.
I am ultimately drinking the same water the pioneers led their horses and wagons through and breathing the same air that blew over the Cross at Golgotha. We must leave this world as good as (or better than) it was bequeathed to us, depositing only our dust as we depart for Heaven, God willing.
Is it “leftist” or too trendy to “go green”? That’s not really the right question.
Let us not bother with the ways of the world, but make sure we are above any labels or factions that may tempt us to avoid certain topics. If all who call themselves Christians would take up the challenge to care for the environment, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the political left and right, the faithful and the ungodly, working hand in hand for a common, worthy goal?
It is possible to be an ecological conservationist and a devout conservative in the pew at the same time.
You can recycle your church bulletins. You can volunteer to clean the Sunday School clasrooms with natural products. You can bring your Klean Kanteen to Bible Study. In fact, you probably should – and encourage others to follow your good example.
Our earth must be as important to us as our financial security. How many hours have you spent working on a budget, perhaps meeting with a financial advisor, watching the stock market, or just worrying about your family’s bottom line and your retirement fund? Our children and grandchildren need us to preserve the environment with just as much fervor. If only there was a section in a standard will:
“I bequeath to my children aforementioned Earth, on which I have trod, with all its drinking water, life-giving air, fertile soil, nutritious plant life and vast animal kingdom. May they enjoy it and treasure it as I have.”
If only that section was second only to our life of faith, and always more important than our money and tangible -temporal – possessions!
We MUST be good stewards of this earth. God commands us to. He has given us a precious gift and has trusted us with great things. Let us not squander our inheritance. Let us take a little time and effort to make sure we’re not burying the earth’s resources in apathy, but rather that we invest ourselves in sustaining them tenfold.
This is the first in a series of Mary and Martha Moments exploring each of the four pillars of Kitchen Stewardship:
Other Mary and Martha Moments you may have missed: