Caring for God's Creation

Our devotional reading for today brings up one of those ideas that puts me in one of my uncomfortable zones. Christian conservationism.

I'm not uncomfortable because I don't believe in our responsibility to care for God's creation, namely our Earth. I have long come to grips with the notion that it is second in order of primacy only to "being fruitful and multiplying." I believe that each Christian is specifically responsible to live a life that honors God, shares His love with others, AND nurtures the earth which God gave us charge over.

My uncomfortableness is related to a frustration I have with the way that the issue has become mostly political. I am further frustrated with the way that some in the political establishment have used the issue, along with sometimes questionable science - sometimes manipulated, to further personal agendas. (Such is the world of politics.) I have a hard time discussing the issue of Christian conservationism without feeling like I talking politics, or talking like a politician. I think there is further complication because my ideals of conservationism are rooted in my life in an agricultural community. (Farmers have become a target for conservationists.) I have always considered myself a kind of carpet-bagger. (This is an old expression that refers to someone whose lives in the country but works in the city.) Although I have all of my life in town, and most of my adult life in the suburban sprawl of the Southern California megalopolis, I'm have a certain kind of country sensibility.

All this is background. Another part of my uncomfortableness may be (and I think it is) a holy discontent. It may be that the Holy Spirit is leading me to shift my stance from where it is now to where He wants it to be.

Here is where it is now. I separate my trash. I even put things in the recycle bin that I know they don't have the technology to recycle yet, but I want someone else to be finally responsible for putting the styrofoam in the landfill. (I personally try to avoid styrofoam.) I use energy efficient bulbs and products. (As much be cause they lower my bills as because they lower the strain on our planet.) I save water in as many ways as possible. (I knew some people who flushed their toilets once daily - no matter what. I'm not that strict. But I do save a flush.) Since discovering that using the dishwasher is actually more than 3x as efficient as washing by hand, I rarely do any hand washing. Actually the water conservation issue is pretty easy for me. It helps farmers. The list goes on with similar small scale things.

The thing is, conservationism is not the only way to care for God's creation. Keeping a green yard and garden is good for God's creation. Picking up garbage and doing away with public blight also honor God and care for His creation. Pet population control can be a way to care for God's creation. And on and on goes the list.

I have to live a life with my God that does more than diminish my negative impact on the planet. I also have to live a life that introduces benefit to God's creation. I have to live a life that does not look to government programs for answers, but one that is an answer.

I'm not all the comfortable with where I have landed so far.

Lord show me your will and reveal to me the fullness of your truth so that I can fully live up to your commission on my life to care for your creation. Give me balance in my spiritual life that results in physical honor to your name. All to Christ. All for Christ. All through Christ. Amen


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