Today, I'm thinking about my responsibility to the earth--the air, the water, the trees, the grass, the birds, the fish, and land animals. In Genesis, God created the world, and then told Adam and Eve to rule over it saying: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Gen 1:28-31
I admit that sometimes I take this world for granted, and sometimes I am careless in my treatment of the earth, but if I am truly serious about my commitment to Christ, then I need to realize that God has given mankind a great responsibility to use what he's created with care. We may think that because God used the word dominion, that we have full authority to do what we like with this world; however, in Mathew 20, Jesus tells his disciples: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
God's idea of ruling and human's idea of ruling are different. In God's kingdom, rulers are servants. I believe this is one reason that churches and governments called their leaders ministers in the first place. The Latin origin of the word minister is "one who serves" or "to perform a service", which is related to the Latin word minus meaning less. If we are to rule as God means us to rule, then we are to care for that which we rule.
In Sunday school this week, the children and I spoke about reducing, re-using, recycling, and composting. We sorted garbage together, and I realized that there is still much that doesn't fall into any of these categories. I bring reusable bags shopping, place items in the blue bin, scrape organic goods into the compost bucket, reuse plastic bags of various kinds, cut up old towels and t-shirts for rags, but I still find myself throwing away too much; consequently, I've begun thinking of ways I can re-use more things. So far, I don't have much, but one thing I decided to reuse are the resealable bags that frozen veggies come in, so I've begun washing them and putting them in the drain rack. If anyone has more ideas, please share them with me.
I also try to walk to and from work a couple of times a week; however, the weather has been putting me off lately. I was feeling justified in driving the other day because of the weather, but then I spoke to the young man who shelves books at our library, he'd just walked to work in the snow. This young man lives close to me, so no more excuses.
My small efforts, are just that--small, but what if we all did the small things?
My list of reusable items
Bread bag ties
Frozen veggie bags
Please add to the list.