Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Earth Day Every Day

Well, it's April 1st and turning the page on the calendar has my son asking what holiday we celebrate this month. All I can tell him is "Earth Day is April 22nd." So is it on your calendar? Has “going green” become a way of life for you? I must confess, I’m more successful in some areas than others. I’m certainly no “earth mama,” but I recycle and conserve energy where I can and I drink water from my refillable metal bottle instead of buying plastic ones. But I don’t usually buy organic food and I almost always forget to take my cloth bags with me into the grocery store, so I know there’s progress to be made.

To be honest, I have some difficulties with environmentalism, as it often seems to be just another political controversy with each side using shaky science to support its claims. Along with that, there’s the whole Mother Earth idea, which doesn’t exactly give the proper place to God the Father. And finally, sometimes not buying organic is just a matter of cost—yes, I want my family to be as healthy as possible, but organic produce is usually way more expensive.

So what is my motivation for going green? It can be hard for me to describe. For example, one reason I clean with lots of vinegar is because it’s cheaper than all those chemicals, so sometimes frugality is a motive besides the health of my family. Yet it’s not just my family’s health I’m concerned with. For me, there is also the issue of limited resources. I know that the resources that God has placed on this planet are not placed here in unlimited supply, so I want to make sure that the amount I’m using up on this planet is as small as possible.

The answer for me comes in Psalm 24:1, “The earth and everything on it belong to the LORD. The world and its people belong to him.” When it comes to going green, the motivation is now much simpler: I’m using resources on loan from God. It all boils down to stewardship. If I am a good steward of God’s gifts of health and this earth, then my green decisions have much more than politics or science behind them.

And when I stop and think about it, the resources that God has given to me are much more than health and our planet. If I really want to go green, then maybe conserving financial resources is a part of it as I resist the urge to be materialistic. On the other hand, I can spend my financial resources to help others and also be a good steward. I can go green with my time by taking time away from my family to be renewed at MOPS or in personal devotions or I can go green by spending time with my family on an outing.

It's all a balancing act, isn't it? But if I remember that every gift comes from God above, then maybe I can go green in all aspects of my life. This Earth Day, I hope to celebrate the fact that this planet is just one of many gifts entrusted to me, on loan from God.

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