Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:26-28
This planet, it’s beautiful. The variety, the color, the intricacy, the very wildness of the landscape.
The mysteries found in the sea, the vastness of the sky.
This planet is intricately, intimately, beautiful.
And God gave it to us.
Like some incredible present, or the most intricate rose, He presented us with this home that He had made for us.
But like the gift of a pet or investment, this gift wasn’t without responsibility on our part.
I get a little irritated with those who would look at this scripture and think that its gives us some type of permission to do whatever we like with the world around us. As if we have no responsibility to care for it, but only to take from it.
I’ve never identified myself as an environmentalist. I’m no vegetarian, I love my meat! I’ve not been known to hug a tree.
But I do get a bit upset when a tree is cut down, thinking about how many years worth of growth was just felled down. I get irritated when I see development chopping down One-Hundred-Year-Old trees to put in a parking lot. Replacing them with small, new trees without thought that those trees won’t truly be a replacement until they also have aged as long.
I get upset when I find out about animals being raised in horrible conditions. Even if they are being raised for meat I feel like they deserve to be treated well and with care while they live. Besides the fact that such conditions decrease the quality and safety of the meat to the point where it also hurts the consumer.
I’m frustrated with air pollution, living in the Sacramento Valley of California you become quite aware of the smog line. Listening to news anchors talk about the quality of the air during the summer and identifying days where people should stay inside because of the poor air quality is maddening realizing that so much of that “poor quality” is man made.
I fear what our consumer culture has done to our vegetation. Overtaxing plants with chemicals, genetically altering what God Himself called “good.”
Hearing about the trash in our oceans, infecting fish and other animals with plastic! Seeing the litter along the sides of the road. Wondering what we are going to do with our acres and acres worth of trash that we generate every day.
We’ve been pretty poor caretakers of this gift. I’m not preaching global warming. I’m no scientist and try not to talk about things I don’t understand. But I’ve never felt like we should have to believe global warming in order to want to change the way we are treating our world. Even the most selfish of man should realize that damaging our food supply and our air quality affects them as well.
I remember when I was a child on camping trips my dad would always teach us to “leave it cleaner than we found it.” As we would wrap up our campsite at the end of the week we would walk around looking at the ground closely, picking up little bits of trash that we hadn’t left their to begin with. It placed in my brother and I a sense of responsibility in what we had the care for. It didn’t matter if whatever it was belonged to us or not, you “leave it cleaner than we found it.”
Are we leaving this planet cleaner than we found it?
Not so much.
I don’t really care what you think about the politics of oil, or if its running out or not. Do you care about the children with asthma trying to breath?
I don’t really care what you think about global warming and political scares and melting ice-caps. I don’t really care what you think about capitalism and consumerism and economics. Do you care about the quality of the food you eat?
Do I believe that our poor care of the world is a sin? Not really. But I do believe that we are meant to care for what God gives us. As well as care for each other.
I don’t really get on this particular soap box often. I believe strongly about caring for what has been given us, but I’m just not an activist about it. So why am I talking about it now?
Well, I’ve been a bit inspired!
I’ve been following this fantastic invention about using solar panels in place of pavement in our roadways. I know it sounds impossibly unrealistic, but they actually have a working model of a parking lot. Solar energy has never been very practical, but I could see this invention making it so. As I think of our local smog-line I can’t help but hope that it works.
They’ve been running an indigogo campaign because they want to raise money to tweak the invention, bring in more professionals to make it better, and move towards production.
It’s a beautiful idea, I’ve no idea if it will work or not, but I’d like to see it happen.
Because I really do want to leave this place cleaner than I found it.
Check out this video talking about Solar Roadways!
And check out their indigogo campaign! They only have nine days left!
~Joy Aletheia Stevens