Heaven We Seed
Our earth is jewelled with God’s treasures, and I know it brings Him joy and honour that we can revel and find solace in what His hands have formed. -Curtis Abney
Although environmental stewardship must be practiced, Christians do not have to reduce their carbon footprint to zero or implement changes right away; instead, environmental stewardship is meant to be a joyful way to serve God just as one would in their spiritual lives, not something that has to be done because it is the only way to stop climate change. The key is to do what you can. Each person will have different convictions on what they must and must not do. If recycling is a painful experience, then stop recycling; if it is too expensive to buy local foods then buy non-local foods; just make sure that you are serving God through it all. Because of this revision, Christians shouldn’t judge or outcast someone who is practicing more or less environmental stewardship then they are as everyone’s level of what they can do is bound to be different. Also, Christians should not practice “Environmental Fundamentalism”. For example, one should not say that they do not believe in drinking out of Styrofoam cups. If they forgot their reusable cup, it is not a sin to use the throw away cup provided. Remember, this is meant to be a joyful way to serve God; it is not meant to be legalistic.
“Consider the ravens. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!”
God takes such care of His creation, so of course He's going to take care of us! Whenever I see any bird, I am always reminded of God's providence for me: what He has done, is doing now and what He will do in the future. In the anxious times of midterms and heavy assignments, there is nothing more relaxing and peaceful to me than a walk in the wilderness. Time seems to stop and all of my anxiety flows out of me like a river. It's all the therapy I need.
I view creation as an amazing gift to us from God through which we can constantly catch “God winks” or glimpses of His unending grace, beauty, and power. It may not be in the majestic sunsets of vibrant red and orange that I feel His presence the most but in the small things such as hearing the pitter-patter of the rain on my roof, the wind in the trees, the smell of fresh-cut hay, or the feeling of cool grass between my toes. Just as in the story of Elijah when God spoke to him through the “still small voice” instead of the earthquake, for me, the subtle aspects of God’s creation are the greatest experiences and constant reminders of His presence.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
The more I learn about our world, its systems, plants, animals and people, the more I come to appreciate God’s good work in Creation. Understanding how intricately each organism is made and suited to its niche environment, and how interconnected the Earth’s ecosystems are makes me wonder at our Creator God. Whenever I have the opportunity to get outside there is a calming presence that overwhelms me. Near the end of the busy day, I found myself alone in a Garry Oak meadow, sun shining, and silent. I stood quietly looking over the meadow to the ocean.
At times when doubts or insecurities arise, I find that an enormous sense of peace and comfort overcomes me when I venture into the immense beauty of creation. Whether I am surrounded by forest on every side, standing atop a snow covered mountain or staring up as the cosmic splendour of the sky, creation leaves me in a state of speechless awe. Through this incredible sense of wonder I encounter in creation, I know I am experiencing the Creator and His greatness never ceases to amaze me.
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” Luke 5:16
The most powerful sermon I have ever heard was spoken by a gurgling stream, while surrounded by a most receptive congregation of towering trees. Together, we became transfixed. Our roots deepened into the earth, and we soaked up living water. Alongside them, I grew leaves and bore fruit. I left that ever-changing sanctuary nourished, renewed, and delighted in the laws of the Lord.