Which Path Will You Follow?

By Chris Erickson

well doneI don’t understand a lot of things, but the one thing I understand least is the reason why some find it necessary to “demonize” anyone who disagrees with them. We feel a need to show they are not just wrong, but deluded or “in cahoots” with bad influences bent on destroying what any “sensible” person must obviously see is” right”. This, I believe is the case with some on both sides of the issue of climate change. My question is, why? Are the folks who want to show that there isn’t any anthropomorphic cause to climate change trying to say that there isn’t a problem, or just trying to shift responsibilities to a “natural” process that is beyond anyone’s ability to influence? Are the folks who claim that we ARE the problem just trying to divert attention away from more important, “doable” issues, wasting precious time and opportunities in the process?

When I think about this, my mind gets all jumbled and messed up trying to separate the “good” from the” bad” and coming up with reasons to justify my own stand. I am fighting with myself to try to return to what I think is a better solution.

We are called as a matter of faith by God, as recorded in scripture, to be good stewards of the gifts we have been given. That includes all of the natural wonders of the world AND each other. A glance at the great photos made possible by our space program reminds us how precious and fragile this earth, our home, is. When I was a working man, I espoused the theory that we are all “customers” of each other, because what I do effects what is done by the person next to me or further on down the assembly line of life. It is in our best interest to do a good job in our cubicle because it contributes to a better end product. And there are not only” external” customers who use our end product, but “internal” customers who all work together to get the job done.

So it is in my best interest to use the resources God has given me wisely, because others depend upon my actions, and I depend upon theirs. If I find that someone along the line is not doing a good job, or causing a disruption in the product line that will result in an ”inferior product”, I can’t just eliminate or discredit the work of that individual. It is better to work to bring the system back into functional harmony, through education, retraining, redirecting.

I look at the world around me and believe that it is NOT what God would intend it to be given the great gifts and resources we have been entrusted with. I see not only the disfigurement of the land by commercial overuse, and the pollution of our atmosphere by chemicals and waste products of our consumption, but also the devastation of people being denied the right to life, liberty, dignity and the ability to be good stewards of the gifts THEY have likewise been given by our Creator. I see devastation of landscapes and people by over-consumption and an apathetic anesthesia caused by our intent to “just take care of our own business” at the expense of ignoring its consequences upon the people around us.

What kind of world do we want to leave for our great, great grandchildren? Consider the vast changes in our world since our own great, great grandfathers were alive. What we do DOES make a difference to others, and will have a profound impact upon our children’s children’s children. The old adage of “don’t point fingers because for every one finger pointed at others, there are three pointed back to you” stills seems appropriate.

What we do about all these problems IS important and crucial to not only our own enjoyment of this life, but the ability of others to enjoy it, including generations yet unborn. This world may not be our home, as the song goes, but I am not just passing through. My “treasure” may be held for me “somewhere beyond the blue”. But right now my gifts of health, wealth, peacefulness, dignity, and purpose are integrally connected to people standing next to me, and those a world and generations away. What I do is important. What you do is important, too. In our world of rapidly expanding populations and increased mobility, we are being put face to face with issues and peoples we never had to consider before. We never considered what effect our actions had on others so far away, because we didn’t see them, or consider them. Now we CAN see them and we can’t avert our gaze any longer.

When we come face to face with our Creator, will He say “Thou good and faithful (steward). You have been faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness.” Or will He say “I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirst and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did NOT do for the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Choose THIS day which path you will follow. URLUVD

Chris Erickson is a member of POP Creation Care small group. As a small group we explore our responsibility as stewards to care for God’s creation and our role in restoring the earth for our children and generations to come.  Topics discussed at our meetings include: Coping with climate change, reducing our carbon footprint, using clean energy resources, sustainability, recycling, and networking with like-minded organizations.  All are welcome!  Our meetings are the first and third Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 PM.  Check out our website for more information at http://popcreationcare.blogspot.com/ .

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  • Curt Carlson

    Such a powerful message. Thanks Chris.