28 June 2007

the created world and the 5th commandment

It’s been raining in Texas. A lot. And it has been beautiful.

It gets me thinking about the created world and it’s beauty. It gets me thinking about our resposibilty to that world.

I don’t know that we all need to be environmental fanatics, any more than we need to be religious fanatics. Both probably do more harm than good, serving as crazies that scare off anyone who may be interested in the truth held within. I mean, the zealot on the street corner shouting at strangers that they are on their way to burn in hell is about as persuasive as the d-list celebrity chained to a 100-year old tree, begging the world to join her there.

Maybe that’s why, love him or hate him, Al Gore was the one to break through to the masses regarding the environment. (For those of you sneering and mumbling “hate him”, remember what Jesus said about loving your enemies...) He didn’t shout at anyone or froth at the mouth when he talked about the polluting ways of Westerners or big business. Similarly, mega-churches continue to spring up, the result of pastors who,rather than shouting and threatening, understand that the life-changing truth of the message of Jesus lays in love and grace. Now, both have shortcomings, but all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so there is no need to point out their faults.

The point is, these ideas (global warming and Jesus Christ) are largely accepted by the masses because they appeal to something good within us. They appeal to our desire for fullness or redemption or doing what feels right.

Now, certainly, someone has said this before - and probably much more eloquently than I am about to. But I am starting to believe that taking care of the natural world around us is an important thing. Not just as humans on planet earth but as children of God living in His creation.

Hear me out.

Imagine my parents moved to their new vacation home in Bermuda for the summer. Nice, huh? Now imagine they tell me I have full use of their house in San Antonio for as long as they’re gone. I have some people over every once in a while, maybe invite some of me and Stef’s friends to stay and spend the summer there with us. We have a good time of it all. Then one day, out of the blue, my parents return and they find the house a mess. Dishes in the sink, trash needing to be taken out, the grass about a foot tall... It would be a pretty big slap in the face to them, wouldn’t it? Their generosity would be returned with disgusting indifference. One thing for sure: they would not feel honored or respected by my treatment of their domain.

I am starting to believe that part of honoring God with our lives - maybe a small part, maybe not so small - is in honoring the world that He’s left us to stay in. So we mow the yard and take out the trash. Maybe change the sheets before the Almighty gets home. We recycle a bit and use fuel more wisely. Maybe we walk or bike to the store on nice days to spare the world some exhaust fumes.

Now the beauty of a blog is it allows the author to think out loud, unabashed. So I sit here and think: Maybe God cares about the environment, if only as a reflection of our gratitude to Him for the wonder of His creation. It is, at the very least, something to consider. And if, after consideration, we find truth in that idea, maybe we’ll consider making some changes...

It’s been raining in Texas. A lot. And it has been beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. You clearly win the yukkiest travel story prize, that I've read about in a long time. I have my own stories, but they are old, and have somehow grown dim with the passage of time. That is best, I think. God is good to stay fresh in our hearts as He never changes and it is good for us to let the old slip away and be continually refreshed with the unchanging goodness of God. Blessings as you step out each day on a new journey. Rose Marie H.