I have some thoughts about Earth Day.
Do not judge those who esteem one day above another and, likewise, don't judge those who esteem all days the same. Today seems to be a day we need for remembering everything in balance, moderation and perspective. I see a lot of extremism in regard to honoring Earth Day. This is not a nonChristian or Christian issue at all, but mankind's issue. However, from my observation, attitudes have been based on visible and sometimes stark response to this general task. This finger-pointing ought not to be.
Do Christians participate in Earth Day because it's become a socially mandatory observation? Do nonChristians believe Christians are morons who don't make the same fuss about Earth Day that nonChristians seem to make? Do we celebrate together opportunities that make our planet a better place to live? Do we acknowledge and appreciate each other's efforts, however great or small, to maintain this wonderful world we call Earth?
Does the Bible say anything about how we should care for this Earth? Indeed it does! And, you don't need to read much further than Genesis! God Himself led the example for recycling human bodies after our spirits are done with them by returning ashes to ashes and dust to dust. The cycle of life is evident every day in every plain on earth. We can learn a great deal just by watching a rotting tree in a forest or watching insects devour carcasses. Animals instinctively know what to do with what they are given. Those who are destined to "waste" are usually surrounded by scavengers to clean up what's left. Ever watch a snail clean a fish tank? Nothing is left to chance in the animal world. Our world, however, seems to be seen a bit differently.
God gives us a creation to enjoy, from the dirt to the waters to the plants to the animals to fellow mankind. God gave us this Earth to use as we needed it, whether it's through study or admiration or even mundane living (??, lol)
Leviticus is chock full of advice as to how to care for our world around us. Granted, it's mainly for every day living back in those days, but prudent followers of God's Word reaped benefits by following sound advice. We are taught how to rotate our soil so we can get the best increase. We are taught when is the best time to buy and sell property based on the qualifications of the particular year. Many cycles of various kinds are observed so that we can look forward to our routines, giving different aspects a certain share of glory.
We are called to care for our animals, both our own and those of our neighbors. Abuse was not tolerated. A righteous man regardeth well the life of his beast. At times we become aware what happens when disease is not contained and instead contaminates the food we eat and the waters we drink and bathe in.
Miracles were performed using vessels already present in the neighborhood. Remember the widow who had a neighborhood container drive so that a prophet could help her have enough oil to sell, saving her sons from slave creditors? Remember Jesus' miracle of the wine? He needed vessels filled with water and he turned it into wine. Today we use re-usable plastic bottles and home water filters to (sorta) accomplish the same feat. ; )
Remember the gold jewelry that was melted down and made into other items? From calf idol to plating the tabernacle furniture, recycling had its moments in Bible history! Indeed, recycling has its moments in virtually every culture that has ever lived.
So what about today? I think it's good that we, as a general society, have become aware of some of the idle waste that has been happening for some time. I'm thankful that we have many opportunities to make a difference in making this world better than we have found it over the years. What sometimes irritates me is when Earth Day is treated more like a man-made religion than a productive way of life. I think we should encourage each other to do what we can to reduce, reuse and recycle. I believe that we need to be attentive to our surroundings where plants and animals are concerned and do what we can to preserve that environment; however, I don't believe that we need to save the animals at the expense of humanity (I know, gets me in a heap o' trouble, I get it, lol). God has a natural and cyclical process in dealing with human and animal population; sometimes lands seem to get destroyed beyond our control, or even despite our control. And yet, the rebirth of that land and populations becomes more amazing than ever known before. I believe that we need to intelligently use resources as we discover them. I think changing our lifestyles to fit a more Earth-friendly environment is admirable, but sometimes we do what we need to do to live in this world we are living in now.
I must say that I am quite disappointed in (particularly speaking here) Christians who are simply "waiting upon the Lord's return" and nothing else~~they feel there is no need to participate in keeping things running smoothly because they feel the Lord will be here "any minute." I believe this attitude is misguided and foolish and plain unhelpful to fellow man. Also, this attitude actually can contribute to the stresses our world experiences from time to time. Yes, the world may not be a beautiful place at the moment, and heaven sounds, well...heavenly...but we have a God-given responsibility to have dominion, to replenish and to subdue this planet we call Earth. Jesus was about His Father's business until it was time for Him to be crucified. We need to be about Jesus' business, too, until He is ready to call us home, WHENEVER that may be...it could be before I even finish this post, or it can be another coupla thousand years from now. No man knoweth the hour, not even Jesus then. Can we really afford to just let things go because we're waiting for the Lord's return? Hollywood's got a pretty good imagination of what our world would look like if we neglect it. We are part of the process in preserving life as best as we can. We are to be at our work when the Lord returns, anyway...why not work at making this world a better place while we pay our rent here? We need to do our best so God can do the rest.
I got tickled at an article I read earlier this week. It's about an elderly lady who wasn't quite up on the news about plastic bags not being good for the environment. She apologized and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." It's a very good article, citing examples of just how green our former generations really lived long before our recent disposable generation was born.
Here's to a celebration that has been going on for many years longer than officiated.
Happy Earth Day!