Pasta—the medium of a true artist! I fondly remember creating macaroni masterpieces in art class as a child. Even more fondly, I remember how delighted my mom and dad always were to receive them and display them proudly on the refrigerator. Join me, however, in imagining a very different scenario. Imagine that my parents would put the art on the refrigerator only to take it down a day later and walk all over it. Then, they would trample on it for the whole week, showing a complete lack of care for my masterpiece, and for the love I put into making it. Every Sabbath, however, they would say, “Let’s put this artwork back up on the fridge and admire it,” only to take it down again on Sunday and trample on it all over again. Imagine that they would do this over and over, week by week, until my macaroni masterpiece was almost completely unrecognizable, destroyed—all the while ignoring the pain they were putting me through.
God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth’”
Throughout my life, as a Seventh-day Adventist, I’ve heard about the beautiful masterpiece that is God’s creation. I’ve embarked on countless Sabbath nature walks and learned in Bible class about how creation is one of the ways in which God is revealed. But when I first became aware of the politics and differing ideologies that surround the environment I was surprised to learn that it was the “liberals,” the group least often associated with Christians, who were fighting to care of the environment while most church folk found themselves on the “other” side. At first it made little sense to me. I thought, “If Jesus is coming back and will make a new earth then why does the condition of this one matter?” I learned why it mattered when reading in Genesis that, “God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth’” (Gen. 1:26).
God’s decision to give us dominion over the earth carries with it a great responsibility. God has asked us to be stewards of the greatest masterpiece in the universe, His own creation. As Adventists we like to enjoy the beauty of nature on a Sabbath afternoon, but often our lives are devoid of any real effort to care for that nature. We like to speak of God’s revelation through nature but we are complicit in its destruction. We put God’s masterpiece “up on our refrigerators” for a day or two, maybe even every week, but then we take it down and destroy it with the way we treat the earth on a daily basis. How it must pain God to see the people who know the truth about God’s creation treat it with disrespect.
When we think of the word ‘stewardship’ in any other context it connotes a responsibility for the proper care and use of something. Therefore, if God has given us dominion over creation, if God has called us to be stewards of the environment, then we should be actively taking every step possible to preserve God’s earth and conserve her resources. Let God’s people be the most vocal and active in seeking ways to care for God’s gift, God’s masterpiece, God’s creation!
..When it comes to our environmental footprint, what's my shoe size?