"This Should Not Be Happening!"

Steve Nichols, photographer and producer, WAND News, recently led a group of volunteers in a clean-up project at Lake Decatur. He, along with several other "anglers," had noticed how much plastic and metal container debris was scattered around their favorite fishing holes. Several were complaining that the disregard for the local recreational environment was distressing and shocking. Nichols summarized the sentiments of many during an evening newscast as he made an appeal for change with this strong statement, "This should NOT be happening!" He encouraged all who enjoy fishing at the lake to take a trash bag with them to pick up after themselves and spend some time policing the area for other trash left behind.

Ready for Recycling Bin!

We have been recycling for several years now. It gives us a measure of consolation that the plastic, paper, aluminum and even the glass we generate can be reprocessed "to see another day of usefulness!" I'm happy to report that our volume of actual household trash has decreased as our recycled items have increased.  We are hoping that this will help to reduce our environmental footprint a little. 

I love nature! From my childhood to this day I have enjoyed the wonders of God's creative work outdoors in beautiful parks, wildlife reserves, and expansive lakes. These settings have been the places where I have played and learned how to appreciate and respect God's creation. I am grateful for several men in my life who hunted and fished. These sportsmen spent time showing and instructing me early on about how to conduct myself in the wild. They often told me that if we don't take care of these gifts of nature then we won't have them to enjoy in the future!

Good life experiences guided my choices long before I would learn how to think theologically about this subject. Today, I frame the motivation for a responsible care of natural resources with this affirmation from the Psalmist, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him" (Psalm 24:1 NLT). This has become a guiding principle for me! 

Dr. Daniel Vestal in his book, The Doctrine of Creation, wrote this vivid description of what God's handiwork inspires, "The celebration of creation inspires art and science, but it also inspires us for everyday living. The sheer beauty of a sunset, the fragrance of a flower, the wonder of springtime are each a source of estimable joy. Life is enriched by the creation and should be embraced and celebrated daily." (p.115).

We have a compelling mission to be responsible regarding this world. God made it! It belongs to Him! We, as His stewards, are blessed to tend, keep, preserve and use it with care. Our role is to manage, protect and conserve this blessed earth. It's a sacred trust that God makes available to us out of His love and by His grace. Someone could argue, "Aren't you ranting about this a little too much?" I answer, "No!" We may need to bring some spirit, emotion and even righteous anger to this subject if we are to jolt ourselves and others into to taking this seriously.

Trashing, polluting, exhibiting greedy carelessness in our misuse of natural resources can't be taken lightly. The news' photographer was right in exclaiming, "This should not be happening! This is shocking! We can't allow this to happen!" It should grieve us every time we see someone throwing out a plastic beverage bottle, a fast food container, or other disposable item without regard. We should not have to pick up after others! Something has to change about how we see our world and our role in it! True believers cannot just stand by and watch the incremental destruction of the Lord's earth! 

Let's give voice to this subject and use our efforts to clean up the mess around us wherever we are! 

Mike Keppler, retired pastor, 
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 



Comments

  1. Stewardship - when you're finished with something, pass it along. Only keep it as long as you need it. Great article!

    ReplyDelete

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