Since starting our own business almost two years ago, I have to admit we do not get to Sunday service as often as we used to. Ironic that at a time we need more Divine guidance and support than ever before, we are too busy to get there, but that is a completely different problem and story.
I honestly would have preferred to sleep in but my wife lured me to church with the promise of a nice breakfast out, which has become an equally rare weekend treat. I sat in church, feeling guilty because my thoughts kept reverting back to my breakfast options. As my mind debated the benefits of bacon and French toast versus a Feta cheese and broccoli omelet, I listened to our pastor talking about the beauty and wonder of God’s work in the great outdoors.
Most suburban Chicago guys like me usually get their nature on a flat screen TV, while our pastor is a “hike in the wilderness” type of guy so he really got my full attention when he mentioned that God speaks to him through nature. He also stated that it does his heart good to know that even a non-believing tree hugger has felt God’s presence through the wonder of His work in nature.
The pastor’s comments started me thinking about what the Bible refers to as our stewardship over the Earth and our responsibility to value and protect what we have been given. In the opening chapters of the Bible, in the Book of Genesis, creation is explained and man is asked to “keep” the earth. The word “keep” in this context does not mean to own, control or dominate but to tend, watch over and care for. I am far from a biblical scholar, but I am still convinced we were not given the Earth to do with what we wish, but to preserve it for future generations.
Later, in the Book of Psalms, Chapter 8, many translations talk about us having “authority” over the Earth but once again. Most theologians agree that it refers to the responsibility, not the dominance or control of what we have been entrusted. Finally in the Book of Revelation, 11:18, the warning comes that He will “destroy those who have destroyed the Earth.” Perhaps Waste Management should consider printing that on their recycling bins? I’ll bet that would get the attention of a few of my non-recycling neighbors.
Those who know me well, will confirm that I do not preach my personal beliefs, but every once in a while, a thought, regardless of Who or what inspires it begs to be shared. No matter where our motivation or inspiration comes from, I think most of us agree we have to do a better job of watching over what we have inherited to make sure we are able to pass it on, when our time here has come to an end. This may sound morbid or sad to some but surprisingly, I find it incredibly encouraging.
Heliotrope Haven by Rosa Say on Flickr