“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the sky, and over everything that moves.” Genesis 1:26 (NASB)
It’s possible that someone reading last week’s blog might think that I’m against saving the sea turtles and other environmental initiatives. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the beginning, God gave man dominion over the earth, and commanded him to be a steward over it.
So how is this a “taboo” topic? Depending on your ideology, you may or may not see it as one. Sometime I think we tend to separate problems into “Conservative” causes and “Liberal” causes. Because we might identify ourselves as belonging generally to one group or the other, we think we shouldn’t be bothered about what is considered to be the other group’s cause. For Conservatives, those who do care might be labeled a “tree hugger” (or worse behind their back). The same thing happens to “Liberals” who don’t believe in abortion. That isn’t a godly attitude. We must learn to give each other more respect. We must all care about what God cares about. He is concerned about our stewardship of this earth. He created it. He sustains it. And He left us in charge of it.
I’ve spent this week at Oak Island, NC, one of my favorite places. On Oak Island in late July and throughout August, the beach can be crowded even at midnight as Oak Islanders and tourists unite to guide newborn baby sea turtles safely back to the ocean. It’s a unique and thrilling experience.
But of course we need to do much more than to enjoy watching sea turtles make their way to their natural habitat. Caring for animals, recycling, pollution reductions, waste management, and other environmental concerns need to be high priorities for the Christian. I confess I’ve never been much of an animal person. But my family has always had pets. And guess who always ended up taking care of making sure they had food, water, flea and heart meds, etc.? Being responsible is a necessary attribute for any Christian.
There are so many things we can do. Do you know how much trash ends up in the ocean? One lovely couple I met this week said they pick up one to four bags of trash from the beach daily. Krystal and I also found beer cans, bottles, and fire cracker shells. I think littering is one thing most Americans have gotten better about. When I was young, as you drove down the road, trash littered both sides of the street. You don’t see that so much nowadays, possibly because there’s a $500 fine for it most places. But that doesn’t mean the problem is gone. If we teach our children that God is our Creator, and He expects His children to care for the earth, maybe one day it will be. But I doubt it. Some of us will still need to pick up the trash.
But it seems to me a better solution would be to make less trash to start with. Do you recycle? They didn’t call it that, but our grandparents were far better recyclers than we ever thought about being. They canned their own foods, and used the same jars over and over for years. They handed down clothes from one child to another, and when something was too worn for anyone to wear, they cut it up into little pieces and made a quilt or rug out of it. They certainly never heard of a disposable diaper. Why are we such a disposable society? How can we get back to the values we once had?
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: As Syd the Science Kid would say, “What’s your ooper schmooper big idea to help the environment?” And remember, sometimes the little things can make the biggest difference!