2007-06-08 - Taking Care of our Earthly Home
Psalm 24:1 The Earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. (NASB)
With politicians striving to win points with voters in upcoming elections, the recent signing of an environmental statement by religious leaders, and the recent celebration of Earth Day, the state of the environment has been in the news a lot lately.
Let me preface this by saying that i'm not a "Chicken Little" 1 Christian, who believes "the sky is falling." (Aside: Chicken Little is a favorite of mine.) For one thing, if you check records, all-time highs (at least in our area) are not from 2007, but rather often in the 1940s and 1950s, while conversely, there are record-setting lows and snows during this present era. In addition, much progress has been made, and our environmental laws have made an immense positive impact. Anyone who visits the U.S. border at El Paso will get a fast education. On the U.S. side, the air is clear, and you can see for a long way; on the Mexican side, the pollution is so bad that you can barely make out the houses just across the border. My heart goes out to the people there with breathing problems; I don't know how anyone with asthma can survive. It's very sad to see. The bottom line is that at least in the U.S., we have "come a long way, baby" (allusion to a Virginia Slims© commercial of yesteryear).
As for global warming, there are fine Christians on both side of the issue. Some believe it unquestionly. Others take into account the fact that some scientists have said that there has always been an expectation of warming, long before pollution reared its ugly head.
Regardless, God has entrusted his people with the care of the entire Earth, given it to us as our home in this life. And as stewards of God's creation, we should treat it with tender loving care. Every decision that we make, that affects the environment, affects something that belongs not to us, but to God.
According to the April issue of Glamour magazine, 31,000 airplanes could be built with the drink cans thrown out in just 12 months in the U.S. And if we toss trash out along the roadway, we are sullying God's Earth (not to mention front yards, part of people's homes).
When we are careless with our use of petroleum, we are polluting God's air.
When we are careless with our use of water and other resources, we are evincing an ungrateful spirit, and being irresponsible caretakers. Did you know that three-fourths of the electricity that we use is consumed when appliances are turned OFF? 2
Have we made progress? No doubt. Should we be doing more? Absolutely. If a valued family member leaves you an heirloom, what do you do with it? I bet you don't treat it carelessly, or throw it in the trash can. Likewise, we should treat the Earth as a gracious gift from our loving Heavenly Father.
1 Chicken Little was authored by Steven Kellogg. I don't know the original publisher, as I read it when I was a child, and no longer have the book.
2 April 2007 Glamour magazine