The genesis of this blog goes back to a day last month after a seven-inch snowfall. I was spending time in our backyard shoveling a section to allow our Jack Russell Terrier space to take care of business without having to be in snow up to her belly. Shovel in hand, I began to uncover small patches of grass in the midst of the mass of snowy white crystals. This got me to thinking, we have lived in this house and walked this yard for the last sixteen years. Before that, at least three owners of this property preceded us, walking around that same yard. Before the house was built in 1960 this was probably an apple orchard, as so much of this land was prior to suburban expansion, Including O’Hare airport. Even before the land that I was standing on was cultivated for food production, the land was probably walked upon by Native Americans of several tribes as well as the wild animals that roamed the land. I could go on to whomever roamed this yard in antiquity, but I’m sure that you get the message. All who came before were stewards of the land, as I am today.
Yet except for my property tax bill I have never received an invoice or assessment for my use of the land given to me as a steward. The earth beneath our feet is very forgiving of our use (or misuse). However now I believe that the earth is calling out to us to stop the misuse. Change in our climate as well as other natural disasters have gotten our attention, and those warning signs will continue in intensity until most of humanity realize that we are in partnership with the ground that we tread as well as the atmosphere that we breathe. As we state that we serve, protect and defend the freedoms we have in this country we must also echo the same commitment to our beloved earth.
The same holds true for the animal kingdom. Creation was proclaimed good as we read in Genesis. Yet how many species of these creatures have left us due to extinction? While natural selection accounts for a number of these, how many are due to mankind just not caring enough? How will you explain to children or grandchildren that an animal species that you saw as a child will never be seen again by them or any of their offspring? Yet never once has humanity been indicted for the death of a species of creation. The animal kingdom is much more forgiving of us than we should be of ourselves.
Yet all is not lost! We can redeem for our past iniquities by recognizing our responsibilities TODAY. What can you do to be a good steward of the earth, sky and animal kingdom? Even the smallest of actions taken by many can begin to make a difference. And these small actions can lead to larger initiatives that will make an impact on our legacy to this patch of earth that we now trod. Families can embrace aggressive recycling habits to minimize use of landfills and recycle as much as possible. Use of resources can not only be a family project but a church family project as well. Conservation of water resources and efficient energy usage will aid in our debt repayment to this planet, as well as give something to future generations as our bequest. Have you given consideration to the EarthCare ministry that is part of our Great Lakes region website? I encourage all to visit that link, read the material and become involved as much as you and your ministry can. We can also acknowledge that we share this space with our friends in the animal kingdom, and realize that we have a responsibility for their well-being as well as future generations sharing this planet with us. Our own future generations will be grateful for the actions that we take today.
Just yesterday I mowed my lawn for the first time this season. That same patch of Earth that was shoveled a short time ago is now sprouting the renewed growth of Springtime. What an appropriate time to say thank you to the land that we have beneath our feet, renew the commitment to the soil, the trees that are now budding and the birds that are serenading us outside along with all creatures great and small. Welcome Spring!